Ironically enough, there is a new YouTube viral video decrying technology (particularly mobile devices), by Gary Turk. It’s called “Look Up.” He speaks with conviction and depth; he really believes what he’s saying, and he makes some great points. His purpose is simple: don’t be so caught up with your technology that you miss the meaningful moments in life.
Of course, there had to be response videos and blog posts. I was disappointed, but not surprised in the least, that most of them were crude or mean. One blog response basically boiled down to, “Just do whatever you want. It’s your life and it’s your choice.” Not very helpful and pretty self-centered.
Probably the best and most thoughtful one was the aptly but unoriginally named “Look Down.” This video blogger’s counterpoint was that our technology actually allows us to make meaningful connections and enjoy life in ways we never could have before. In other words, it’s not bad; it has great benefits, and we should embrace them.
So, who are we supposed to listen to? Are we supposed to take heed to Gary Turk, who tells us to go on walks and leave our phones at home when we do? Or do we listen to the other guy, who wishes us “happy internetting”?
For followers of Jesus Christ, the Bible has a very clear message, and surprisingly enough it seems to answer the question: Do we look up or look down?
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
– Ephesians 5:15-20 (New King James Version)
That word “circumspectly” jumps out at us, because it tells us exactly where we are to look. That word literally means to “look all around.” Have a 360 degree view. See all the angles. Look at all the possible options. If we are following Jesus Christ, he allows us to see things the way he does, the way he teaches us to, with the wisdom of God. And we are able to make the best decision for our lives and the lives of those around us, according to God’s will. We are able to make the most of every opportunity. We can even redeem these evil days.
It’s so simple. What God wants for us is the very best, and the best is a life lived circumspectly. He wants this because He loves us, in this one life we’ve been given.
Technology is not bad, it is not the enemy. It’s also not everything. So, if it’s time to put away the phone or tablet or laptop, and have a face-to-face conversation, then please do it. If the most circumspect thing to do is respond to that text from your friend who is depressed and contemplating suicide, then by all means do it. Be wise.
If you’re always looking up or down, you’ll never know what you missed. If you look circumspectly, you’ll never regret it.