of, relating to, or characteristic of the culture of computers, information technology, and virtual reality.
“the cyber age”
synonyms: electronic, digital, wired, virtual, web, Internet, Net, online
“our relationship was more cyber than face-to-face”
complete absence of sound.
“sirens pierce the silence of the night”
synonyms: quietness, quiet, quietude, still, stillness, hush, tranquility, noiselessness, soundlessness, peacefulness, peace (and quiet)
“the silence of the night”
She sat to the right of me on the couch that night. I was in Hangzhou, China (circa July 2013) and Emma was my roommate.
“We haven’t quite figured this thing out, you know?” Emma said.
Minutes before that statement, I was talking to her about how I accidentally left my phone in a cab. I was frustrated not just about losing my phone, but that I had nearly hit 500 followers on Instagram and I wouldn’t be able to see when I hit that number.
Insert pyschological syringe. I was on drugs. Addicted to say the least.
They’ve done studies on it. I get it. It’s addictive. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope, and beyond have gotten our attention. Stories, pictures, videos and sounds have captivated us–pulling us away from it all just for a moment.
While the device in our hand or on our lap gets generous doses of our attention, non-cybers (i. e. human beings, nature, God) are constantly vying for it.
The red dot on our favorite app notifies us that someone wants our attention. Banging fists and car crashes prove that something else–or someone else is wildly jealous and desperate for that attention.
I was working with a student a few months ago and I showed this kindergartner a flashcard. LOOK was the word on the card.
“Can you make a sentence with this word?” I asked the girl.
“Sure! ‘Put your phone down and look at me, mom!’ I have to tell her that all the time. She’s always on her phone!”
I clearly struck a nerve with this fast-talker. And she struck a nerve with me too.
My own nephew called me out on it. “You don’t have capture every moment with your phone. You can just remember it.” He won a couple events at his track meet that day and I deemed it necessary to whip out my phone and report it on Snapchat. He wasn’t having it.
There’s a temptation for
some me to document everything every good thing. The highlight reel is typically what we I show and what we you see. It’s never the sum total of our my reality. Just a few factors.
But, it connects us, right?
Snapchat lets me see what my students in Saudi Arabia are up to daily. My friends in the UK message me on a regular too. My family and friends from throughout the States keep me updated with quick snaps and DMs and I honestly love it.
With all of the benefits that social media and cyber news provide, I find nothing more satisfying than the beauty of a sweet silence.
Breaking away, shutting it off, closing it out.
And that’s what’s calling me.
Sure, I need to wrap up my next book. I need to polish up on my speeches. And I could definitely work on my bio. But most of all, I’ve been craving a deeper level of fellowship. A time of listening. A time of quietness. So, now I’m entering a time that I am deeply thrilled about–cyber silence. It may be for a week. Perhaps it’ll be longer. All I know is that it’s necessary. And while we haven’t quite figured “this thing” out yet, I’m going away to search–and I won’t be using Google either.