Looking outside a window, at the view of clouds and blue skies, from the inside of a prison cell

Imagine for a moment you’re confined to a prison cell. It’s not the dark, dank room we’ve grown accustomed to expect from the movies, but is instead comfortable. You’ve decorated it with several items from home, but you’re confined nonetheless. There’s an impenetrable 12 x 18 inch plexiglass window in your cell that allows you to view the outside world. In fact, your family and friends can amble up anytime you have your face close to the window and talk to you if they’d like.

These welcome visitors bring colorful photos of other friends and family, and gorgeous locales, many places you once visited, and they press those snapshots directly to the window so you can soak in their beauty: vivid flowers of every hue; brown trees with pale green leaves the color of spring, stretching toward Monet skies; a serene lake, a second set of snow capped mountain peaks etched within its reflection.

Friends write letters and the prison guard opens them, pressing the careful writing to the window so you can read every word. There’s a typewriter in the cell so you can respond to these friends who’ve graciously written during your confinement. In fact, you can virtually see or read anything you want via this window, but over time a sadness sinks in, a melancholy realization that life is passing you by. You miss smelling flowers, you long to climb those trees, inching upward toward painted skies. You’d give anything to row a boat across the calm lake, accompanied by loved ones so you can hug them, not just view them through a tiny window.

Now imagine someone arrives with a key and flings the cell door open wide. He says, “You are free to go. You are free to live your life.” How would you feel? What would you do?

After reading this conjured scenario, are you glad you don’t have to experience it; are you happy it’s just a hypothetical situation? Think again…

At some point during the day, a majority of us confine ourselves in exactly this way. That 12 x 18 window in our story is really your computer screen with the internet behind it. Maybe your window is a bit bigger, perhaps a little smaller. Doesn’t matter. You are still living a portion of your life virtually.

Before anyone thinks I’m knocking computers or the internet, I must say I love both and believe they’re wonderful tools. But there is a dark side, a lure that when followed, leaves us feeling hollow inside. Television was its precursor, but the internet changed the game. Now we interact. We feel productive. We feel powerful. But the only way we are truly powerful is when we control the internet and not the other way around.

Do you log on the internet to accomplish chores and then log off so you can interact with the real world, pursue the activities that will bring you closer to your dreams? Or do you log on to check one thing, then get sucked down a series of rabbit holes until an hour or two has passed? If that happens, how do you feel afterward? Are you refreshed? Energized? Or do you feel a sadness that something is not quite right, that there must be something better out there for you?

I will tell you there is something better waiting for you, but you must jump out of your seat, sprint from your prison cell and search for it. I guarantee you won’t find it using Google search.

Trust me. You are meant to soar. But you’ll never get off the ground with a computer chained to your wings.

Subscribe Now to Live Your Best Life

Every Journey Begins with a Single Step

I'll never share your email and you can opt-out at any time. Powered by ConvertKit