In this world of being 'connected' and 'plugged in' by way of email, online degrees, online dating, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, and the whole "there's an app for that" mentality....I wonder if we really are becoming a disconnected society. Never before have we been quite this 'connected' and yet I feel very disconnected from people. From friends. From family. Are we missing out on relationships because we are over connected by way of extremely impersonal manners. Just how far does a simple lol, xoxo, or emoticon go to build a relationship?
Are we able to truly connect with people? I've dabbled in the online dating world (and honestly, online dating experiences could be a blog altogether!!!); I've yet to feel a connection with someone that I connected with first online. If anything, I have connected more with people I've met up with after knowing little to nothing about them from chatting online. I truly believe when it comes to online dating, less is more. Type less and go out more so you don't waste time on a 'fake connection' with someone via online. And I think about the 2 classmates from my graduate program I am most connected with and they happen to be the two girls I actually met on-site during orientation three years ago. And I am convinced, email just might be the absolute worst way to 'connect' with an employee. There is little to no emotion and when there is perceived emotion, it is almost always misperceived emotion. I find I connect so much better with my team having face-to-face conversations about work and life in person, rather than email.
So I have to wonder if being 'connected' actually disconnects us from each other? And a small part of me wishes I could disconnect from the electronic world and just go back to meeting up for a cup of coffee in order to catch up rather than reading up on Facebook. And in fact, some of my most relaxing vacations were those in remote places that allowed for very little cell service and times when I was truly disconnected. The week I spent in St. John....where I actually got to know bartenders, waiters, and tenants because instead of being face down in my phone, I took in the world around me. Or the time I hiked my first 14,000+ mountain in Colorado and I met a couple of random guys on the mountain and ended up not only hiking the day with them but also going out on several subsequent dates with one of them. Or the Hawaii vacation where my ex and I establish a rule that we would not use our phones for the entire 10 days....and I remember relaxing, reading, writing, soaking in every little detail. I wonder how many details in life I am missing by being 'connected'?
When I look to an example of someone that truly connected to people, I think of Jesus (hopefully by now, you realize there will always be a biblical tie in my blogs...if this comes as a surprise, spoiler alert for future blog reading!). He understood connections and how to build them. He spent time with real people, not Facebook profiles...He spent time in homes (Martha and Mary in Luke 10: 38-42), in fields with large crowds (Matthew 13), with women at the well (John 4)...he spent time connecting with actual people. Both friends, family and totally random people. He spent time speaking and listening. And He built relationships off of these interactions. And there was an impact from these relationship. And I'm not so certain Jesus would have substituted these conversations for a Facebook poke, Tinder swipe or Match.com "like". I'm pretty certain He wouldn't have it any other way than sitting face-to-face actually connecting.
So Jesus may have been absolutely disconnected by our present-day standards but I think we have a lot to learn about relationships from his definition of connection.
Facebook, Tinder and relationships,
Disclaimer - I don't necessarily recommend everyone 'disconnect'...I think there are definitely pros to Facebook and the like. Everything in moderation.
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Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.