Overconnectedness

August 19, 1999

As many people are looking for the story of the century, Thomas Friedman at the New York Times has found what he believes is the story for the next century. It came across the wire services the other day from Israel.

An Israeli man "was pulled over Monday after a policewoman nabbed him driving through the coastal town of Netanya with a mobile phone in each hand. Engrossed in his conversations, he was operating the steering wheel with his elbows . . . . The volunteer policewoman flagged him down when she saw his gray Mitsubishi meandering from side to side."

I agree with Friedman, that Israeli motorist deserves to be listed as the poster boy for the social disease of the next millennium -- overconnectedness. Frankly, thatís the real Y2K virus to infect society, and I donít think this one will be cured anytime soon.

Recently when I did a radio interview with Dr. Richard Swenson (author of Margin, The Overload Syndrome, and Hurtling Toward Oblivion), I opened the program with that story. He agreed that this story summed up our problem. We are too busy and too connected.

This poor Israeli man was trying to talk on two phones while trying to drive. Iím afraid he has a lot of kindred spirits driving on American freeways every day. And Iím waiting for the first restaurant maÓtre dí to ask "cell phone or no cell phone?"

Well, I dissent. I donít have a beeper, and I donít have a cell phone. When people call Probe, and Dotty says I am out, they want her to connect them to my cell phone or beeper. Sorry, no can do. If Iím doing a radio talk show or meeting someone or spending time with my family, you canít reach me. Leave a message, and Iíll call you back . . . on your cell phone.

Iím Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and thatís my opinion.

© 1999 Probe Ministries International