In my sermon yesterday, I mentioned an interview with Adam Alter (author of the new book, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked). In that interview he was asked to define 'addiction.' Here's what he said: "The definition I go with is that it has to be something you enjoy doing in the short term, that undermines your well-being in the long term — but that you do compulsively anyway." That is about as simple and straightforward a definition as I have ever heard. It gives us a clear lens through which to recognize how addictive patterns may be present in our daily lives—particularly in our use of technological devices—that might otherwise go unnoticed. In that same interview, in response to a question about how to live well with technological devices, Alter says, "I’d suggest that they be more mindful about how they are allowing tech to invade their life. Next, they should cordon it off." Sabbath is essentially that: cordoning off a space in time so that other things that have been crowded out are celebrated as central once again. Perhaps in our time, cordoning off technology for a set time every week is a simple way to de-center technology and encounter once again the fullness of time.
(The full interview can be accessed here.)
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