The irony of ‘Social’ media
When you read the title of this article, you should immediatey understand the premise of this article. People of every stripe, ethnic group, social strata, gender class and any other social ranking that ever existed or could exist that regularly uses or is engaged with some form of social media should know that the ‘social’ in social media is almost non-existent. Oh, people connect all right, but for how long and how meaningful is this ‘connection’ along telephone cables that house fiber optics as thin as a human hair? We tweet, we post pics on Facebook, share other pics, recipes and gossip (if we dare), we Stumble upon stories and post there as well. We pin it to Pinterest in the hopes someone will notice and re-pin it to their boards, but did anyone ‘feel’ anything? Did they share with you on a personal level, or one-to-one that your recipe turned out great for their Friday evening dinner? Or were you just notified that someone ‘liked’ your post and shared it with their ‘friends’?
While we have named this technology ‘social media,’ it is truly far from ‘social.’ Do you really know where all of your so-called ‘friends’ live? Do you have their telephone numbers? Do you call them or do you text them? When this writer turned off the texting part of her phone plan, it was plain that the service representative thought I should really rethink my decision. But she was informed that it was because this writer was old-fashioned and just plain preferred to ‘call’ people and actually hear their human voices, instead of reading, “Hi hru 2da…i fin, doin 0, sitn, bord 0 1 2c & 0 ppl 2phn, U?” It’s rather difficult to get into that type of conversation except to text back, “Y bord 2” “K gd 2 tk 2u.” Then we wonder why so many people are suffering from lonliness and even sometimes depression.
In the silence of connection, people are comforted by being in touch with a lot of people — carefully kept at bay. We can’t get enough of one another if we can use technology to keep one another at distances we can control: not too close, not too far, just right. I think of it as a Goldilocks effect (Turkle).
Despite all of our connections on our social media sites, there is truly no replacement for our connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a saying in Christian circles, “Have a little talk with Jesus.” It is often used in connection with evangelism, but in truth it is a truth that He can be accessed every day and all day if we so desire. The Lord Jesus promised that He would be with us to the end of the age in Matthew 28:20.
We are tempted to think that our little “sips” of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places — in politics, commerce, romance and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation (Turkle).
This writer is reminded of an old Barbra Streisand song, “People…people who need people, are the luckiest people in the world, we’re children, needing other children, and yet, letting a grown-up pride, hide all the need inside…”
Yet, the Lord Jesus Christ promised us that He would be our friend…and yes…He doesn’t have an I-pad or an I-phone, so just start talking to Him and talk to Him just as if He was sitting right next to you…because in all probability He probably is sitting right next to you, listening to everything you have to say. If you listen closely, you might actually hear His voice in your spirit. Ssshhhh!