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Recently I've been catching myself sending e-mails to my wife while she's sitting in the same room a mere arm's length away at another computer. She has expressed valid complaints to this situation... "Just TALK to me!" is her plea. This awareness has revealed my own hypocrisy when I rail at others who concentrate on sending text messages while ignoring the person with whom they're conversing, or having lunch with.

Also, I have all-too-often found myself spending HOURS on writing and answering e-mails, to the point where I begin to rob myself of needed sleep, exercise, nutrition, or relating meaningfully face-to-face with those I love. My struggles toward a solution include: (1) Setting a specific time limit on technology, and when the time is up, to STOP using it. (2) Never to allow technology to intrude on meals, or on face to face conversation. (3) Form accountability to others on how I use technology, so it can remain meaningful, pure, spiritually nourishing, and can contribute to solving the ills of this world, rather than adding to it.

Finland, the land of my ancestors, has more computers, cell phones, and modern communications technology per capita than anywhere else on the planet. I have a growing conviction that it is the way we Finns deal with our fear of face-to-face communication, and by extension, a certain fear of intimacy. I have come a long way in that regard, but I have a considerable distance yet to go, as a 72 year old who is still "on the way."