Protect your time. Prioritize relationships. Restore your spirit.
Technology teaches us to crave the hum and buzz of activity and the dopamine hit of notifications. Yet social media and technology have shortened our attention spans, disrupted our connections with others, and even muddled our spirituality.
In Reconnect, contemplative author and retreat leader Ed Cyzewski investigates the crisis of attention that is leading to mental health challenges and extending to our souls. Yet the Christian contemplative tradition—deeply rooted in the spiritual traditions and practices of the church—offers a way forward, grinding the gears of this frenetic activity and thinking to an unspectacular halt. For all its benefits and promises, technology trains its users to pursue the exact opposite of contemplative prayer practices every day, claims Cyzewski.
Grounded in current research into the impact of technology, Reconnect helps Christians rewire their technology addictions and train themselves to be present and aware of God rather than tuned into the constant distractions and deceptions of this digital age. When phones go dark and social media feeds stop scrolling, can we step into a deeper stillness and presence with an always present God?
Chapter 1: The Goal of Digital Formation Chapter 2: How Digital Formation Changes Us Chapter 3: How Digital Formation Hinders Spirituality Chapter 4: Where Two or Three Are Texting in My Name Chapter 5: The Goal of Spiritual Formation Chapter 6: Detoxing from Distractions Chapter 7: Get a Habit . . . Like Monks and Nuns Chapter 8: Reconnect with the Good and Beautiful
Ed Cyzewski is the author of Flee, Be Silent, Pray; A Christian Survival Guide;Coffeehouse Theology; and other books. His writing has appeared in Christianity Today and Leadership Journal, and he blogs regularly at Patheos. Cyzewski founded The Contemplative Writer website and leads contemplative prayer retreats. Cyzewski has a master of divinity from Biblical Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and works as a freelance writer and editor. He and his wife have three children. Connect with him at EdCyzewski.com.
“What I love most about this book is that Ed Cyzewski is not presenting us with a litany of information and then requiring us to ditch our cell phones at the side of the road and leave our technological society behind. What he’s asking us to do is open our eyes. Open our eyes to what social media is doing to our young people. Open our eyes to what screens are doing to us. And remember—remember that true discipleship, true relationship, and true spiritual formation are found in the quiet places, the still places, the merciful places.”
~Shawn Smucker, author of Once We Were Strangers
“I am among the blip-sized generation who eagerly anticipated being assigned an email address ending in .edu—the key to the magical world of Facebook in the early 2000s. Social media has been a continual source of entertainment and education for me, and it wasn’t until 2016 that I began to question the amount of time I was spending on these sites—let alone why I was spending so much time on them. Ed Cyzewski (whom, ironically, I met through Facebook) has been an invaluably wise guide as I’ve started down the path of being intentional in my engagement with social media. Reconnect is a deeply practical, beautifully written invitation to consider anew how best to cultivate a life of connection to God and neighbor.”
~Megan Westra, pastor and author of Born Again and Again
“Ed Cyzewski winsomely demonstrates how our uncritical use and overuse of digital media malforms us. In his beautiful description, it ‘blinds us to the brilliance of God.’ I, for one, don’t want to blind myself to God’s brilliance, to God’s life. Here, Cyzewski is the best kind of guide; he practices what he preaches. What’s more, he doesn’t leave us stranded by merely pointing out the wrong. He leads the way by practically showing us how to make things right with God, ourselves, and the world. This is all serious business—and this book is sorely needed in this moment—for the sake of our individual and collective soul!”
~Marlena Graves, author of The Way Up Is Down
“As an author and public speaker, I am constantly wondering how to engage with social media and the people around me in a healthier way. Ed Cyzewski’s book, which so wonderfully displays the kindness that he embodies every day, offers us an invitation to lean into our technological world while staying tethered to discipline and simplicity through soul work and contemplative spirituality. If you desire to engage with the world but don’t want to be constantly distracted by it, this is a beautiful book with important insights for all of us.”
~Kaitlin Curtice, author of Glory Happening
“Ed Cyzewski is a deep soul, making sense of living in the modern world. In this book, he takes on the digital tsunami that has swamped our lives and the spiritual damage it creates. Thankfully, Ed guides us in the way out. He shows us how to remain rooted in what matters most, even when we must be clicking and swiping. His distinction between digital and spiritual formation alone is a game changer. Highly recommended.”
~Bradley Wright, professor of sociology at the University of Connecticut