Are You Too Attached to Your Virtual Reality?

While grading through some packets my students did while reading A Christmas Carol, I have been especially interested to read their responses to this question:

“In Stave 2, Scrooge is given the opportunity to see all the events from his past that have affected his current feelings about the future. In thinking over your own life, what are the events in YOUR past that have affected the person you are today?”

I’ve had lots of students write in about going through their parents’ divorce, moving, playing on sports teams, and dealing with loss.

And then I read over this one:

“Having a phone has affected my life because I don’t pay attention to what else is going on in my life and also I don’t interact with my family. I just sit here and text. Also it affects my life at school because I can text someone and then be terrified to talk to them in person. Which means I can only talk to them through a text message or calling. And when you do have a phone, it’s easy to say anything you want to, but in person you barely talk so that is what has affected my life.”

It brought to my mind this thought from one of the leaders of our church, David A. Bednar:

“Please be careful of becoming so immersed and engrossed in pixels, texting, earbuds, twittering, online social networking, and potentially addictive uses of media and the Internet that you fail to recognize the importance of your physical body and miss the richness of person-to-person communication. Beware of digital displays and data in many forms of computer-mediated interaction that can displace the full range of physical capacity and experience.”

It seems like every now and then, I get these little surges of inspiration that I need to spend less time online and less time “living” in my virtual reality. You may have realized for the past couple weeks that my blog posts have been a bit delayed or not quite as frequent. While I’m not saying that I’m about to stop blogging, I AM saying that I’m trying hard to put technology in its rightful place.

Do you set limits on how much you involve yourself in a digital reality? Do you think it’s important to set limits?

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