To survive, you must bend; you must adapt. We are all connected by plastic, copper, silicon, fiber, and radio waves carrying ones and zeros; and if you don’t log in, you will break. Are you juggling an exchange of bits over the cellular ether, an exchange of bits over Facebook chat, and an exchange of bits to prove that you’re doing your job at work? So am I. Join me in the increasing plasticity of life.

This is not what I signed up for, but I do remember seeing something in the Contract of Life that mentioned terms changing without notice. I guess it happened, and it happened so subtly that I didn’t notice. I’d like to get out of this contract, or at least revert it to its previous state; but the Lessor seems to have moved on. He says print is dead, Facebook is relating, and the iPad is so last year.

The byproduct of the coming digital integration will be a massive physical isolation. It’s already happening: all across the world, millions of people are sitting in front of a screen right now, digesting bits assembled into pictures, games, articles, love letters. Somewhere on the other end of hundreds of miles of plastic, copper, silicon, fiber, and radio waves, another human entered those bits into cyberspace while staring at another screen.

The progress of the digital age cannot be discounted, but we are only just beginning to see the accompanying regress. With speed comes exhaustion; with logins, aloneness; and with plasticity, loss of essential nature.

The human mind needs to be oxygenated just like any other organ, and even introverts need face-to-face love to survive the loneliness of digitization. As much as we must bend to keep up, let’s make holy a place where we can snap back to our most human shape; where we can find each other breathing the same air; where ones and zeroes cannot interfere; and where humanity is valued over plasticity.

Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment–to love one another–is the same message you heard before.

– 1 John 2:7

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