Does the above picture look too familiar? How many of us are guilty of being out with family and/or friends and instead of visiting with them, we are busy with our phone? To me, I feel as though the art of conversation is becoming more and more obsolete as Social Media continues to grow. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do see the advantages of Social Medial. Social Media has connected and re-connected us with family and friends. It is a tool for people like me to share thoughts of encouragement and share the story of Christ. But, there comes a time when enough is enough.
When you look at days gone by, there is the remembrance of siblings fighting over the phone in the evening, conversations at the dinner table and/or in the family room. And, how many of us grew up in families where there were evenings of story telling or learning about our family tree through conversation? Even in Jesus’ lifetime, there was always conversation. He was the greatest story-teller that ever walked the earth. Not only did He tell stories, but He took time to hear the stories of others and their needs.
Nowadays, people can sit in the same room or at the same table, but they are not talking face to face. They are text messaging the person on the other side of the room or someone who is not even there. We are re-connecting with people but are we really connecting? Are we investing honest interest in a person and really hearing their story?
The other day, I received the following in an e-mail that really sums up with then and now. This piece shares about a stranger coming into the home. It is not just text messaging, Facebook and possibly tweeting that is taking away time of conversation but it is also other forms of Social Media. As you read it, think about the days gone by and how things are in today’s world. How has Social Media influenced your lifestyle?
A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our
small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer
and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly
accepted and was around from then on.
As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind,
he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom
taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger… he was
our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with
adventures, mysteries and comedies.
If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always
knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able
to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball
game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking,
but Dad didn’t seem to mind.
sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each
other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for
peace and quiet.
(I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)
Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger
never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in
our home – not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long time visitor,
however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my
dad squirm and my mother blush. My Dad didn’t permit the liberal use of
alcohol but the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made
cigarettes look cool, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely
(much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes
suggestive, and generally embarrassing..
I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced
strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents,
yet he was seldom rebuked… And NEVER asked to leave.
More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our
family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at
Still, if you could walk into my parents’ den today, you would still find
him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and
watch him draw his pictures.
We just call him ‘TV.’
(Note: This should be required reading for every household!)
He has a wife now….we call her ‘Computer.’
Their first child is “Cell Phone”.
Second child “I Pod
This says it all doesn’t it? We are in the midst of Holy Week. This is a week of reflecting on the life of Jesus and the ultimate sacrifice He made on our behalf. Easter Sunday symbolizes new life and new beginnings. This week in the midst of celebrating the newness we receive in Christ, let us make take a new to be aware of those who are around us. In other words, put the phones down. If we are to live as Christ, we need to take time as He did and be aware of those around us and their needs. It is in these personal encounters where we experience fellowship with one another and with God. We were designed to be in fellowship with one another and as Christians commissioned to witness to those around us.
Beginning this week, I encourage you to write a personal note and send it snail mail, give that friend that is struggling a phone call or even a visi. When you are out with family and friends, turn the cell phone off. Let those you are with know that they are important and what they have to say is important.There is nothing in this world of ours that is so important that we need to forfeit hearing what the person or persons we are with have to say and enjoy the fellowship of the moment. After all, there is no mention of cell phone, text messaging, Facebook, or other forms of Social Medial in heaven. What we are told that there is great fellowship with one another which I interpret to mean we will talk face to face.
It seems like we don’t talk anymore, so let’s start talking!