- I have a cell phone with unlimited text messaging (and have learned a whole new language: "u gng 2 a movie 2nite?") which I've found myself inadvertently reverting in my normal writing routines.
- I'm on Facebook (passed 700 friends a while back. My rule is that I won't "friend" anyone I don't have some sort of personal relationship with) and voraciously check the statuses of my "friends", probably too much.
- I'm even thinking about twittering.
But I'm starting to have misgivings about it all. I am wondering where all this instant availability will take us as a culture and what it will mean for the quality of our relationships.
Since we are made in God's image (i.e., for relationships), do we harm that image when we no longer look each other in the eye, hear each other's voice and spend time in each other's presence? And what happens to us when we can longer be alone?
Dallas Willard says that solitude (i.e., being alone) is the foundational spiritual discipline. In it, we are alone with God and really do find out if there is something to us. And if we can no longer really be alone...how does that fare for our future and our ability to truly be human beings made to reflect the (relational) image of God?
Some poignant quotes from it:
"What's fueling this? Conley says it's anxiety borne out of a deep-seated fear that we're being left out of something, somewhere, and that we may lose out on advancement in our work, social, or family lives if we truly check out. "The anxiety of being alone drives this behavior to constantly respond and Twitter and text, but the very act of doing it creates the anxiety."A short man-on-the-street video the Boston Globe did on the subject:
"Loneliness is ubiquitous...But people are less equipped to deal with it. Rather than going deeper, they try to push it aside."
I'm not suggesting we jettison the technology, I'm asking how we need to treat it and behave toward it. Thoughts?