Remember using this "telephone" as a kid?
I can *so* remember connecting the string and wondering if it could maybe, just possible, work.....
Of course, we couldn't really hear each other all that well - but being lil' kiddos we just used our imaginations and POOF! ~Instant fun~
Nowadays we have much more sophisticated means of communication. I can call you on my cell phone from just about anywhere. I can text you a quick message of info. I can email you. I can facebook you (and whoever else may be reading it). I can skype and even video chat if I have the right technology. It's a brand new world of virtual communication ~ ain't it grand!?!
For the most part, yes, it is wonderful. Yet like anything else man-made, it has it's pitfalls. I *love* being able to send a pic via my phone to facebook. I can't imagine traveling these country roads with a carload of lil' kiddos without my cell phone. Texting my husband on Sunday mornings (when he can't really have his ringer on) can be a real time-saver. I'm not saying it's all evil ~ but still....virtual communication is not perfect.
Things can be taken the "wrong way". Have you ever sent a simply message to someone only to have them get offended? Or maybe they were simply confused? Maybe they thought YOU were mad, when you were actually just joking. Those cute lil' smilies can help, but ultimately emails, texts & fb messages will never be as good as face to face communication. Sure, they can be helpful, even necessary at times. Yet for real relationship building and honest communication, nothing beats a live conversation!
Now, I'm still gonna text. I'll still send a message on fb. Yet I'm learning to really guard myself (and others) with what I am typing. The Bible tells us OFTEN of the dangers of the tongue. James has a lot to say about it, as does Proverbs. It's kinda scary how easy it is for our words (even our TYPED words) to hurt others. What we do online and via our cell phones is pretty much the same thing.
So I've been second guessing my messages. I've been double-checking my wording. I've asked Dean for his opinion, as to what I should say or whether it's best to simply NOT say anything at all. His first response is usually "If there's a problem, talk to them - not fb, not text - TALK to them". That's hard. It's much easier to send a quick message. Who wants to actually *face* conflict? (not me!) This has been -and still is- a VERY difficult Biblical issue for me to deal with......
Lastly, I think of my children. I think of the generation growing up now, that will grow up with virtual communication as the norm. When I was out last-minute Christmas shopping with Dean, I was shocked at the sheer number of people staring at their little cell phone screens. Sure, they were communicating like crazy.....but is that really the communication we want our children to be focusing on? Am I just getting "old"?
I think all this technology is cool, fun, helpful and creative!! I enjoy using it. Yet I also pray I am able to control my "tongue" as I navigate through the ever-expanding virtual world.
We are a physical being created by God ~ so go hug someone, for pete's sake!