Thursday, December 30, 2010
Hands of God and Adam, Michelangelo
All the communications technology at our disposal today is enabling us to be continually connected, but is the time invested at the expense of time needed to establish lasting personal contacts, i.e., Is texting and Facebook becoming a forum where we can all be impersonally alone together? Just asking. I think these new media are helpful as long as we don’t burn an unbalanced amount of time at the expense of the face time required to establish real meaningful relationships.
I learned the hard way not to hit the “send” key when responding to an irritating e-mail or perhaps text message. It’s best to hit the “send later” key when firing off a knee jerk reaction to someone who has tweaked your jaw--especially when that person is not in the same room facing you. The eyes are the window to the soul. Body language speaks louder than most words. If you took the time to use face time for the contact, you most assuredly would not react the same—now it’s more personal. But an impersonal, electronic response can be much less intimidating for the sender.
Most of us have figured out that establishing and maintaining a relationship involves a significant investment of our time—something that seems to be in constant short supply these days. Most of us have come to realize that to live a fulfilling and less stressful life we must constantly be aware of the need to balance our personal relationships with our work time and our spiritual time. Hopefully, all of the time spent on all of this emerging technology won’t be mistaken for the quality contact time needed for the kind of fulfilling relationships most of us humans need to maintain a healthy and joy filled life.
Here’s an acid test. The next time any of us are tempted to have a rather serious exchange with someone, we need to think about how our creator God would consider receiving the message as a Facebook, e-mail or text format. When we open our hearts and genuinely pray to our creator, we are making genuine contact. When we are not so sincere or mentally prepared to make that connection, the prayer is quite possibly treated as the impersonal communiqué that it represents.