Shall we bid “au revoirue” to realistic and genuine relationships? Since the invention of chat rooms and social media, genuine and organic relationships have seemingly escaped the human experience. A few years ago, my family made the decision to deactivate our Facebook and Twitter accounts. At first there was much defiance (my children were teens at the time). Later on, we all discovered it’s effects on our spiritual and relational growth. This sacrifice allowed us to build a stronger family foundation, more intimacy with the Father, and added more time for family discipleship. This became our time to engage in challenging conversations, and has brought lots of laughter in our home. This also allowed for very transparent conversations about life, relationships, and hard-core questions about my past mistakes. Unbeknownst to me this would be a crucial time for my family’s growth. It was instrumental in the aversion of generational influences.
I would love see how this level of intimacy could effect a people in any community. Social media has made many of us socially awkward. I am observing that people just don’t know how to to be engaged in human interaction. There is little to no eye contact and there seems to be a language barrier; like “what do I say”…duh.
What would happen if we were just as bold and candid about our personal life in the face of our neighbors, associates, or with the people at church (HA!..NO HOLY FACE MASKS ALLOWED). While engaged in SM, I found that my social networking “friends” were more confident over a tablet, phone app, or PC. Unfortunately that false confidence seemed to disappear once there was face-to-face interaction. I can recall a time when a particular SM “friend” was very engaged in posting comments where I started many controversial conversations; but later; in social events that person would “avoid me like the plague”…WHAT!? Ironically, my children(now adults) had the same experiences. There would be times that their “friends” would see them in public places and would not acknowledge them publicly. These same “FB friends” always had a response to a post when it was important to enough…hmmm..Now…some of you may be saying “maybe you guys are just not that important”..Point taken…AND THAT’S EXACTLY THE POINT!!
Human ingenuity should not usurp the benefits of the human experience. When social media is the major driver in a society’s socialization, it dehumanizes the masses. For some, it makes them very critical, narcissistic, and shallow. Not to mention that the temptation to gossip (and speak foolishly on issues that they have not researched), engage in so-called “harmless” voyeurism, and the pastime does nothing to feed the Spirit..IT’S ALL flesh feeding. SM is a marauder of the human relationship. It has become a tool to destroy. In the years to come we will see the unimaginable come to fruition due to SM.
Importantly It is a major cause of a fruitless spiritual walk. We are starting to see what happens to a civilization when the people cannot engage in intellectual conversation. Our children don’t understand the art healthy debate nor are they equipped to research, study and share their educated opinions about civic and governmental issues. They just goooooo with the floooow. It is also very apparent that some technology; wonderful as it is…along with public schools, has “dumbed” down this generation. Spelling, grammar, and proper use of language is virtually non-existent. The effects can be seen in national newspapers and magazines.
An integral element in all relationships is intentional, consistent interaction. It’s organic. It must be done with an intent to grow together. It should be exercised with a mind to run as one would in a marathon. We should be faithful at all times, and ready to forgive when there is an offense, and ask for forgiveness when you give the offense. Building genuine relationships are comfortable and uncomfortable; they can be fun and sometimes they will require work. When we afford our efforts to social media for building relationships, we allow confusion to navigate the path. Those so-called relationships are superficial and there are always casualties.
Social media and a person’s need to be “heard, seen, and be seen” makes one less aware of those that are closest to us in terms of our immediate community. We don’t realize the importance of belonging. Sadly, what I’m also finding is that many people have accepted social media as a satisfactory medium for relationship building and human interaction is just too much work. SELAH