Eugene Cho

Technology: Even that which can a blessing can grow to be a burden or worse, a curse.

Hey everyone. I’m back from vacation and back to the swing of reality. During my two week vacation, I took 10 days to un-plug, de-plug, get off the grid, and attempt to do a tech detox.

It’s not that I think everyone should do this but I realized that I needed to do this. Yet, I wonder if others are in need of regularly examining how they engage their digital lives. Technology addition is becoming a growing phenomenon and will be increasingly an issue. How do we know this? Because insurance companies are now beginning (out of necessity) to cover technology addiction – for both adults and children.

Technology is an amazing thing, isn’t it? What we’re able to do  – personally  and through our various circles of work, ministries, or organizations is nothing short of amazing. And even on a global scale, it is stunning to see.

A blessing can become a burden or a curse.

But even that which can a blessing – if not guarded well – can grow to be a burden or worse, a curse.

I see technology – like many other things – through that perspective.

It’s not that technology or social media was destroying my marriage, my life, or my ability to connect with my children. Not at all but in subtle and slight ways, it was becoming a growing nuisance. A thorn. A bother. A sore.

On couple occasions, my smartphone crept out of my pockets during my date nights with Minhee. I don’t know how it did that but it just crept out and next thing you know, my fingers were swiping pages left and right, texting, checking scores, etc. Epic fail. Clearly, Minhee wasn’t impressed.

Last year, I asked one of my daughters a very blunt question about how I could be a better father. One of her three answers was very simple:

“Less computers. More games with me…”

That’s a no frills, no holds barred answer.

This is why – for vacation (for the past 5 years) – I enjoy going to this very small town of 200 people in Nebraska so much. While the phone barely has a scant signal, we don’t have cable, internet, Netflix, and whatever tech stuff that can possibly get in the way of quality family time:

What did we do? Lots of driving. Games. Food. And of course fishing.

For me, fishing is just good for my soul and I’m so glad that my kids are starting to enjoy it as well.

Trinity caught the first three fish of our family derby:

Jubilee – as usual – did great. She might have a chance of going to college on a D-I fishing sports scholarship. You think I’m joking, right? Some schools in the South actually have this. Hmm…

Jedi caught the most fishing among the kids. One one day, he caught a cool 12 fishes and I’m not talking about on his Wii console. I’m talking real life. He caught one fish (a catfish) that nearly dragged him into the water. Here’s one of the basses he caught:

As for me, I probably caught over couple hundred fish including this nice beauty. We ended up releasing everything with the exception of one northern pike and one catfish.

My hopes for a more accountable tech engagement:

1. I aspire to have quality time and dates with Minhee without the third wheel of my smartphone.

2. I aspire to carve out several hours each night where I’m not on my computer, laptop, or smartphone. Instead,  I aspire to crush my wife and kids as we play more games. Crush them until they ask for mercy.

3. I take “sabbath” over two periods of 6 hours and I aspire to sabbath from tech during those periods.

And of course, I really need to do more fishing…

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6 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    Good ideas about keeping technology in its place. Overall I think more fishing is a great solution, time on the water is good for the soul!

  2. kcwebgirl says:

    nice catches! i so miss fishing with my dad and uncles. try to go every chance i get to go home for a visit.

  3. Karen says:

    Great advice. We go to a similar spot on the Oregon Coast each year where there is zero internet or cell reception. It’s amazing how well we can live without them…

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I love my church. So proud of the ways they seek to embody compassion and justice. Some of them were in downtown Seattle this week to demonstrate their solidarity with Ferguson.

I'm in the middle of a 3 month sabbatical at Quest. I'm grateful for this time of rest and rejuvenation...but I miss my church dearly. Can't wait to be back in October. There are some amazingly beautiful churches around the world. Just remember though that true worship begins when you exit the church walls and live out your faith and convictions.

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We still got it. We look gooooood!

Blessed to be back in Princeton, NJ for couple days recently. We had our wedding ceremony in Korea but got "legally" married in the US at Miller Chapel in Princeton Seminary. So, it was only fitting to go back and have my kids take our 17.5 Anniversary  pics. Someday when our kids become adults and they feel like their parents wronged them or neglected them, and they feel like they need to get counseling... I'm going to show them this picture and say, "I HAVE PROOF. WE TOOK YOU TO NYC AND BOUGHT TICKETS TO WICKED ON BROADWAY!" RIP Robin Williams. 
Folks: Please go and - call or hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Remind them how you much appreciate them.

We need to (re)learn how to be more human. Don't avoid eye contact. Don't hide behind gadgets. Smile often - both to neighbors and strangers alike. Ask about peoples' stories. And listen.

And most importantly, remind yourself that YOU are loved. Not just merely by your loved ones but also by the ONE who created all that is good and beautiful.

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