Have a wonderful unplugged Christmas

Lisa Goudy
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Lisa Goudy

It’s nice to get away from technology sometimes.

Sometimes it seems we can’t live without technology. It has revolutionized how we live. With so many people constantly glued to their smartphones or tablets, many people are on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter constantly. It’s even a requirement at many jobs to be able to promote yourself or your company on those sites.

Texting has become a more common way to communicate. Don’t forget selfies, which are all the rage, and experimenting with photo filters through Instagram. It’s too easy to become addicted to smartphones.

I am not immune to this. I don’t consider myself an addict, but I do love my smartphone. I too am constantly updating things on Facebook and Twitter for work and for personal reasons. It’s convenient and fun. There isn’t anything wrong with that.

But when I get together with other people, when I am not alone, I like to put my cellphone away if I can. We live in a world where we constantly update our lives on social media, where being away from our phone sometimes seems like the worst possible thing that could ever happen.

However, with Christmas just around the corner, it’s more important than ever to put those phones away or even turn them off. I believe we should all detach from it for at least a day to enjoy the company of loved ones.

Christmas is about getting together with family and friends, oftentimes with people we haven’t seen in a long time. Christmas is a time to be merry. It’s about the joy of living. The reason Christmas exists is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Son of God. We can’t let those reasons escape us.

While in the cherished company of loved ones, we shouldn’t spend all of our time glued to our technology devices. If we do that, we are losing the human connection and we cannot ever, ever lose that connection.

Our lives get very busy. That’s the nature of life. We get busy with work. We get busy with chores. We get busy with paying bills. We get busy with our involvement in extracurricular activities. If we are students, we get busy with homework and studying.

If we are parents, we get busy with our children and attending the band and choir concerts and the sports games they’re participating in. If we are parents with really little ones, we get busy looking after them.

There is always something to do or somewhere to be and within all of that, we get wrapped up in technology. We lose the connection to people who cannot ever be replaced and we don’t know how long we’ll get to spend time with them.

For hundred and thousands of years, humans survived without smartphones. Even in these times, we can survive one day, or at least several hours, without checking our Facebook or Twitter news feed. We can survive when we put them away and out of sight.

And it’s not just that we can survive without it, but we need to learn to survive without it. A smartphone can’t love you like loved ones can. It can’t take care of you when you’re feeling sick. It can’t hold you when you’re sad. It can’t say, ‘Congratulations’ or  ‘I’m so proud of you.’ It can’t cheer you up or pull you down. It can’t connect with you on an emotional level.

It is that connection that we need. Sure, sometimes life sucks. Sometimes it’s unbearable. Those low moments are part of being human.

But life also has great moments, moments where we smile and have fun and enjoy the company of others. We are each of us blessed in our own way, even if we can’t see it. Sometimes other people see in us what we can’t and are able to remind us of who we are and who we want to be.

I want to be connected to people. I want to feel others’ embrace. Like anyone else, I laugh, I smile and I feel. I’m going to have an unplugged Christmas to reconnect with who really matters, as should we all. No distractions or updates from Facebook or Twitter; nothing but the company of family and friends who I love.

On that note, I want to wish everyone a happy, joyous, unplugged and very Merry Christmas.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.


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