Before I start this post, I need to fully admit who I am in terms of my social media status. I am an all-out social media user.
There might be some new and popular sites that I haven’t ventured onto yet but social media has been a part of my life for over a decade now and I own up to it.
Add social media to my e-mail accounts, texting, and other voice messaging apps and now my world has become a daily parade of words in snippets and phrases.
I am now connected with family, friends, and even people I have never personally met before and yet, somehow, I feel more disconnected than ever.
How can I feel this way when the whole purpose of social technology is to make us more connected with the world around us?
My answer to this question is I have made a tool of communication into a way of life. My soul seems to be crying for peace and balance amidst a technologically advanced world that is bringing nothing but noise and distraction. Sound bites have replaced real, authentic communication and my soul is crying out, “ENOUGH!”
We were made to communicate in a real and genuine way that cannot be replaced by the latest app we download on our smart phones. God created us to openly communicate with one another in a face to face connection; to cry, to laugh, to see people’s facial reactions, to hear voice inflections because we all have that need to be fully heard and to listen to one another. It’s good for the soul and a crying emoticon or a laugh out loud (LOL) acronym just can’t replace what our soul truly desires.
I have used this tool as a sense of security that hinders me from growing and maturing into a communicating adult.
I forget how to act in those awkward situations where I don’t know anyone in the crowd. Why? I have my phone to cling to and hide behind.
Let’s face it, we use our phones as safety nets in social situations where we feel awkward and out of place.
We have forgotten how to be vulnerable and open in social environments because we have replaced face to face connections with those numerous other forms of “connections.” It’s now face to phone and my soul desire for genuine connection is feeling the deprivation.
Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think social media and communicating via advanced technology is bad. There is great use for it but I think it is time that we face up to reality. Technology can never replace the real thing. It’s a tool to use in moderation but it will have drastic effects if we let it be a way of life.
I want to be a healthy example of communication to my children. I want them to engage in genuine face to face communication that might challenge them to use their words beyond sound bites and emoticons.
So before you send that e-mail or check-in with that friend or family member with a text, try and find the time to replace it with the real thing. Have one of those heart to heart chats that are good for the soul, that speak life into you and challenge you to be fully human. Stop hiding behind your phone. Be vulnerable. Be you and be open to meeting people face to face in those awkward settings where you might feel out of place.
I am challenging myself here because I need people in my life. Real people, real connections not “friends” or “followers” who connect with me with a touch of a button but don’t know the real me.
There are no amount of words I can write on a status or photos I can share that will ever be able to convey who I really am as God created me to be and who He created me to be in relationship with others.
It’s time to find the balance amidst the social media storm and make technology a tool not a way of life.
Are you in?
I am certainly going to try because my soul needs it.