I know I’m not the first person to pose these thoughts, but that doesn’t diminish the passion I have attached to them. Honestly, it’s taken me several back and forth conversations in my head to finally stumble upon a conversation with family last night that finally birthed a coherent topic for this post. I was honestly dead-set on at least 5 different topics until I was heavily prompted to revisit this one in particular. I don’t remember when I first broached this oh so sacred and oft overlooked problem that I see, but I’m back for round two with the anti-socialism that has been created as a result of technology. I would say the primary parties responsible for this blatant problem are Facebook, Twitter and (with a hearty serving of irony) blogging.
Honestly, let’s think about the reasons both Facebook and Twitter came into being. The fact is, they both derive value from our own tendency toward narcissism. OK, maybe they only play on my own narcissism, but they do an amazing job at it. Come on, who really cared about what I was doing this very minute before either of these? They are merely enablers that feed this idea that what I’m doing right now is of any importance outside of myself and maybe the people in my immediate proximity? For my own ego’s sake, don’t answer that…
Never have we had so many outlets to communicate with one another, to the point now where we actually have to fight to converse in a deeper and meaningful way. How easy is it to just text your friends to catch up or post on their wall or tweet at them to catch up on their lives? A few button pushes and DONE! It actually takes time to call or go all the way to see that person in the flesh. I mean, I feel myself becoming more and more like the computer which has now become a physical extension of my being. I can’t be separated from either my computer or phone for this reason.
I’m not in the business of villainizing or championing any technology here, but again I know I am not the only person who recognized this violent shift that was catalyzed by the restriction to expressing oneself completely in 140 characters when text messaging came out. Now, that has been extended to Twitter posts. I feel this neutering of true human interaction is now being combated with technology like Skype, which is a brilliant correction back toward a social community. What’s brilliant about it is the fact that you have every benefit of a conversation in person other than the ability to incorporate the sense of touch. This is even better than the phone, which I admittedly hate to use for the very purpose of enjoying the ability to read body language.
Without going on forever, give me my community back! I have certainly fallen prey to the ease of interacting with my computer screen which has both inhibited significantly my ability to express myself verbally as well as value through constant pursuit personal and deep relationships. Sorry, but Facebook and Twitter are about as deep as a wading pool. You have to make the decision for yourself, but I believe that I need community almost as much as I need my Provider and Savior. Why not fight to live the life for which we were designed (Genesis 1:26; Hebrews 10:24–25; Mark 9:50; John 13:14, 34–35; 15:12, 17; Romans 12:4–5, 10, 16; 13:8; 14:13…etc.)?
As a sort of P.S., I want to assert the fact that I struggle with this problem just as much as, if not more than, anyone I know. Please don’t think that I am in any way trying to call anyone out in a backward, passive-aggressive manner.
Cameron (the Wayward Journeyer)