I saw it all in the matter of a week, a woman walking her Yorkie, a teen with his boxers hanging out as he pedaled his bike through town, a business man racing his Porsche through a roundabout…and every one of them looking down, each enlisting at least one hand and both eyes to rattle out some kind of message on smart phone while the real world blurred around them. Thankfully, no one crashed into anything in the process.

On my birthday this summer, I made a quick list of the happy things that make up my everyday dream life. I jotted down things like daily writing and reflection, reading with my husband, a clean house, a flourishing edible garden, farmers’ markets, being kind, patient, playful and generally attentive with the kids, daily family devotions and Scripture memory, making music, taking in art, rubbing shoulders with mover/shaker creatives, vulnerable and honest friendships, hiking, cycling and exploring outdoors…and hot tea for good measure. Somehow “more time on electronic devices” didn’t make the list.

When I laid my eyes on the three ring circus of dog walker, bike rider and Porsche driver, I saw our culture in its underpants, the absurdity of it all. But then there’s me acting a slave to the gadgets myself, frittering away precious moments and potential productivity that could be put toward daily tasks and creative projects when I instead go on autopilot checking texts, emails, newsfeeds, and getting lost in the Internet. My commitment to media leaves so little room for the things that make up my dream life.

I’d like to spend the next month thinking on this, exploring the benefits and drawbacks of the digital life and finding ways to live more authentically and tangibly in this virtual age.

I’ll be writing shorter posts to allow both of us, reader and writer, to spend more time with the real people and things around us. Scratch that–I can’t seem to write a post under 900 words. 😉 In each post, I hope to offer a creative idea for something to do instead of plugging into the matrix that moment. This isn’t to say that we won’t plug in at all. Technology offers us many wonderful ways to expand our thinking and our relationships (even here!) but I hope that together we can become more observant of our own habits and of the world around us so that we end up using the technology without it abusing us.

What’s your biggest challenge with technology and social media? What elements of your dream life is it clouding?

{I’m linking up with Nester for her annual 31 Days blog get together. Don’t want to miss this series? Be sure to subscribe by entering your email in the box on the homepage sidebar. Find all posts in the series here.}