I'm trying to unplug from my smartphone and computer…I really am. But it's hard.

The damned things are addictive.

Like any addiction, it saps energy and time from things that are far more important, like the other people in my life.

I'm not one who thinks technology is totally bad for authentic connection in life. I have embraced it wholeheartedly and enjoyed its benefits. It has put me back in touch with friends from high school and college—enabled me to reach out and encourage many more people than I could have otherwise. But when it begins to take over, to distract me from the real relationships and essential connections right in front of me, it's time to take corrective action.

This powerful video (under 5 minutes) by Gary Turk captures the message beautifully, and this is the perfect time of year—when we're likely to be enjoying the company of family and friends we don't often see—to remember to put the darned smartphone away and look up.

Look up into the eyes of those you love.

Look up to see that precious child or grandchild begging for your attention.

Look up into the sky and behold God's creation.

Look up and really see your world and your life. Don't let them pass by unseen because you were looking at your phone.

Have you ever been with someone who seemed to distracted by their phone to engage with you in conversation? Have you ever realized that you were doing that to someone else?

What's the answer?

How have you maintained balance in your life?

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