Anyone who was a fan of music in the 90’s (and why wouldn’t you be, it was arguably the greatest decade of rock/pop) has one thought when they hear the word unplugged…Nirvana: Unplugged in New York. Well at least that is what I think of first. In November 1994, in the wake of the death of their lead singer, the band Nirvana released their unplugged album. For those of you unfamiliar with the unplugged concert series, let me sum it up quickly. In the late 80’s MTV had this idea about taking platinum record selling artist notorious for over the top production/amplification and strip down their sound to a more raw/acoustic performance. Often the result was amazing. Now all of a sudden artists weren’t hiding behind recording and sound morphing techniques but instead were putting themselves and their music out there in a much more intimate display. And anyone who has listened to and/or watched the performance of Nirvana’s unplugged concert can see the true expression of Cobain’s desperate soul in his final year…some have even commented that the entire recording (stage presentation, song selection, tone, etc.) was his epitaph prior to his passing.
I keep coming back to that raw/real ideal behind the unplugged concept. In today’s world, although the unplugged series is still taking place, I think more than not most everyone is entirely too plugged in. I mean think about it. Right now you are reading this blog (thank you by the way), which more than likely you found out about through Facebook, Twitter, Email, etc. And for some of you, you might even be reading it on a cell phone or a tablet which you carry around with you as if it were attached by an unseen umbilical cord.
About a week and a half a go I was able to go on vacation to the beach. And although I had my “devices” (isn’t it weird how the word vices is actually in the word devices) with me I was only on Facebook for 10 minutes the entire eleven days I was gone. I didn’t check my email at all. And I think the only tweets I had were due to the fact that my wife used my phone to take some Instagram pictures. And you know what…the world didn’t end. In fact, I felt so relaxed, so refreshed, so me. To top it off, at the end of the week my mother-in-law bought me a shirt from the Life is Good store on the island that simply said “Unplug”.
I think maybe we all need to unplug a little more so that maybe we can be a little more real. I remember it was only 15 years ago that I didn’t even own a cell phone, let alone a mini-computer in my pocket. And you know what this “plugged-in” mentality breeds…worry, stress, anxiety, deception, facades, disconnectedness, etc. Granted there are some amazing things that have come from all this technology, but we have to be careful not to lose our soul in the midst of it all.
One of my favorite passages in all of scripture speaks to this a bit I think. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” God’s peace comes as we put aside anxiety and worry about things that really we should be giving to Him. And maybe putting aside anxiety and really connecting to God may require a little more unplugging…even if you have to stop reading my blog for a while.