There’s a lot to love about the Internet. I’ve met some of my greatest friends online, you can learn more than is possible in one lifetime through online classes and blogs, and you can shop for groceries in your pajamas. You can sometimes earn a living online, you can lead and participate in book clubs and Bible studies, and hey, you can even attend a conference.
The Internet is a beautiful place. But it can also be really, really loud. Really loud.
It’s a never-sleeping place, constantly barraging us with more and more and more content, vying for our attention and clamoring for our eyeballs. Even the good stuff, it’s overwhelming. Our brains pound with every scroll, every ‘like,’ every pin, and our necks stiffen downward as we focus our gaze to our palms and avoid other eyes and faces.
It’s around this time every year that I take more time to close the laptop, walk barefoot in the dirt, and settle in among the green and good. My soul thirsts for the stuff made of bark and leaves and flesh and blood, and the only way I can truly breathe it all in, I’ve found, is to deliberately walk away from the pixels and the hashtags for a season.
God sometimes speaks to me through links I’ve clicked through Twitter, He moves me through myriad online causes, and I’ve deepened my theology and doctrine through prolific bloggers gifted in sharing their wisdom.
But He also speaks to me through grass. Through evenings around fire pits and cold drinks. Exploring places around the bend that require my leaving the laptop and strapping on a backpack.
For me, this summer, taking an Internet break looks like less frequent blog posting, traveling with my clan away from wifi, removing the Facebook app from my phone, and leaving my inbox full to the brim. It can wait. And then it looks like breathing in the rich, dirty, diverse creation around me in the 3-D world. And remembering to smile, once again, at the people in front of me.
Won’t you join me?