Sherry Turkle has been studying people's use of mobile technology for 15 years. In this article in the New York Times she reflects on a new way of life: "I share, therefore I am." But now what we want to share is pictures. Teens and even younger kids are caught up in possessing a photograph of their experience: "A selfie, like any photograph, interrupts experience to mark a moment." It is a sign of the times that three world leaders, David Cameron of the U.K., Barack Obama of the U.S., and Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, took a picture of themselves in the middle of the memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

Similarly, we break up our days by texting everywhere conceivable – in meetings, at school, in church, during movies, at dinner with friends.
When we get put ourselves and those we love "on pause" while we text someone else or document the moment with a photograph, we are refusing to be present with our own thoughts and feelings. We are at a point now where more and more people are becoming enslaved to their mobile devices; they use them to block out loneliness or combat boredom.

Last week we were on an elevator with eight other people, and all of them were entranced with the device in the their hand. Every spare minute of time now seems consumed with texting or documenting our lives. What is getting lost is the "pause that refreshes" – honoring our thoughts, our creativity, our intuition, our conscience, and our solitude. Turkle makes a plea for us to set up "device-free zones to reclaim conversation and self-reflection." Now there's a spiritual project whose time has come!

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