Cultivating a Spiritually Wise Digital Habitus
Ability to apply the insights of spiritual traditions to the daily practice of digitally mediated social participation. This might include establishing clear boundaries with parishioners, using technology for prayer in appropriate ways, and taking a regular “tech sabbath."
Research Interview Excerpts
What did the experts say?
“When a student in ministry leaves an appointment, then do you unfriend every Facebook friend that you have from the previous congregation? … Which is the standard of practice for the time—the ancient time prior to digital media. You didn’t keep in touch with people from congregations. [It] actually raise[s] a broader set of categories, I think. Boundary questions as a whole, not just transition boundary questions.”
“I just think we’re swirling right now. We’re in a context [of a] fire hose of data, which isn’t even information, and little opportunity to learn the practices of deep community. I think religious communities have more to say about … silence in community. In other words, there’s a certain kind of unplugging from devices and being in silence, but just doing it in isolation … Even monks are always in community. “
[Students need] first and foremost, the ability to listen carefully.”
REAL WORLD EXAMPLES
Sabbath ManifestoIt should surprise no one that Jewish communities have led the way in applying sabbath thinking to the challenges of digitally cluttered lives. “Avoid technology” is the first of Reboot‘s ten sabbath principles. Don’t miss their National Day of Unplugging—and adorable “cell phone sleeping bag.”
Pray-as-you-goJesuit Media Initiatives produces this scripture-centered daily Ignatian meditation. In about twelve minutes, listeners experience bells, music, a repeated Bible reading, reflection questions, and a prayer prompt. It’s an inspiring example of a very old practice finding new life via new media.