Digital technology is killing us.

It’s killing our souls and our bodies.

It’s killing our marriages, families, and friendships,

It’s killing our listening skills and speaking abilities.

It’s killing face-to-face communication and inter-family relationships.

It’s killing our minds, especially our ability to focus and concentrate.

It’s killing communion with God as it usurps communication with him first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

It’s killing our peace with its never-ending blizzard of notifications, beeps, and buzzes.

It’s killing our mealtimes through constant interruptions and distractions.

It’s killing God’s voice throughout the day as we fill every traffic stop and toilet stop with social media check-ins.

It’s killing our morality as the tsunami of porn drowns multitudes of young and old, male and female.

It’s killing our health, especially through its shortening, shallowing, and interrupting of sleep.

It’s killing our beauty-intake as we walk through the spectacular with our heads buried in the black hole of our devices.

It’s killing our education as social media distracts and diverts students in classrooms, lecture-halls, and libraries.

It’s killing our finances as productive work-time is stolen from our employers to be frittered away on triviality.

It’s killing the service of others as we selfie ourselves into self-obsession.

It’s killing our identities as we cultivate and project so many social media personas that we’ve forgotten who we really are.

It’s killing privacy as every moment is now digitized not for family archives but for instant upload to the world for likes and hearts by complete strangers.

Digital technology has punctured every part of our being and is slowly psssssssing the life out of us.

That’s why I’m asking you to join me in making 2017 a year of detoxification, a process often used to systematically and safely withdraw people from addicting substances.

I’m utterly convinced that vast numbers of Christians are dangerously addicted to digital technology. It has way too big a place in our lives and it’s not just damaging us; it’s destroying us.

Those who can get this under control are going to be uniquely placed to excel – relationally, vocationally, educationally, and financially. There is no surer way to a massive “competitive advantage.”

But control (or lack of it) of our devices is also the biggest determinant of our spiritual health, growth, and usefulness. If we want to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, we must grow in digital self-discipline.

That’s why, in 2017, I’m going to devote many blog posts to digital detoxification. The ultimate aim will be the revival and renewal of our bodies, our minds, and our hearts; our marriages, families, and friendships; our mental and physical health; our productivity, finances, and education; our communication skills and service of others; and above all, ABOVE ALL, our relationship with God.

This is a multi-dimensional problem with multi-dimensional solutions. It’s going to require some eye-gouging and some hand-amputation (Matt. 5:29). It will involve much putting off and much putting on (Eph. 4:22-24). But life on the other side of this will be so worth it that on December 31, 2017, we’ll look back on January 1, 2017 with shock and horror, asking one another, “What. Was I. Doing?”

  • Davidathome

    You forgot…it’s killing our churches. Many churches are losing that ‘up close and personal’ organic relational aspect, where we have real people in our lives during the week. I don’t know about you reader, but to me it feels like not having enough oxygen.

    • David Murray

      Thanks for your comment, David. I posted it on today’s “Detox Roundup”

  • AlsoConcerned

    David – Thank you so much for this timely post. I recently went back to a “dumb phone” because I was struck by seeing in my own life so much of what you stated above. It was eating away at my vitality, even while my own heart tried to “sell” me on all the ways that the tech was useful. For me, once I forced myself to soberly look at what was going on, the benefits could not hold a candle to the detriments. I struggle to get my family to realize the dangers inherent in technology in a loving and caring way – I usually end up teasing them about it so it doesn’t come across as heavy-handed. May the Lord help me and give me wisdom in this area and may He help us all to follow your counsel (which is based on His counsel!!!).

    PS – maybe you’d consider writing a current-day version of Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death” with a focus on digital technology?

    • David Murray

      Thanks for your comment. I posted it on today’s “Detox Roundup.” As for a Postman Version 2.0, how about “Clicking ourselves to death”?

  • Diane Bucknell

    I so agree! Last summer I deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts and cut way back on blogging. Best decision I’ve made in a long time! It was very liberating. Among other benefits my concentration has increased and stress level has decreased.

    Thank you for posting this!

    • David Murray

      Thanks for your comment Diane. I posted it on today’s “Detox Roundup”

  • Robin McLain

    I already follow your blog, so it will be good to read more on this subject. Sent this out today to many on my contact list. Deleted FB a couple of weeks ago. Such an encouraging recommendation.

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  • Daniel S.

    You forgot to mention that it is killing us literally when we text and drive. Thanks for the article.

  • Richard

    Over the last few years I have found apps like Freedom and StayFocusd to be helpful and, indeed, essential. Easily worth the money.

  • Marc Curtis

    Another +1 from me. We’re on a similar journey where we’re trying to be more intentional with our technology usage. My wife wrote a nice piece on digital detoxing with kids –