AN ISOLATED GENERATION
Have you ever gone out to dinner and seen a whole table of individuals eating but not talking? They aren’t talking because they have nothing to talk about, it is because they are all on their phones. Have you ever accidentally ran into someone while walking, not because they couldn’t see, but because their device was capturing their attention? This is become the norm in our culture. Everywhere I go, everyone is on their phones doing something. I’m not knocking phones or even technology, heck — I have an iPhone and I love it.
The ironic fact about smart phones and social media is that they were created to increase communication. You now have the ability to connect with people on Facebook you may never have. You can call, text, e-mail or Skype anyone you want to in the entire world. The world of social media wants to connect us through never-ending pictures on Instagram, short-witty tweets on Twitter and the normal-day-life updates of Facebook. Despite the fact that we have so many outlets to connect and reach out to others, most of us are isolated.
Why? The life of smart phones and social media are consuming us. Instead of looking at that status update for the third time, why don’t you pick your face from the glowing screen and engage with your wife? Instead of browsing the Pinterest board where you are getting home decor ideas that you’ll never actually do, look up from your screen and engage with the world around you. The world of social media screams “Be Connected!”, yet more often than not, it brings more isolation and loneliness when we submit to its call.
AN DISTRACTED GENERATION
As believers, I truly believe that social media and smart phones can become a distraction from our walk with Christ. I think the art of waiting for God has lost on our generation. The mantra of our culture is “Quicker, Faster and Easier!” The mantra of the Bible though is, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.” Are you being distracted from Christ by the never-ending notifications that call out for your affections? You are not alone in this struggle.
So many times I have caught myself checking the same social media stream for the second and third time to only realize, “Instead of enjoying my life right now, in this moment, I am wasting it by viewing other peoples life.” I’m not surprised though. It’s always easier to check Facebook than engage deeply with my wife because my flesh wants to take the easy way out. My flesh wants to distract me with a thousand little things that don’t really matter so that I may not focus on what truly matters.
Colossians 3:5 states, “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you.” If social media and your phone are becoming a distraction from the glory of Christ — put that to death then, brother. Consider turning off your phone on your next Sabbath day. Intentionally leave your phone at home the next time you go to coffee with your husband. Instead of reading Facebook and Instagram when you wake up, read a Psalm and meditate on the glory of God. Do the hard work of conversing with your wife, loving your family and encouraging your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Smart phones and social media are not inherently evil but they can often be distractions away from Christ. Therefore, check your life and see if it is becoming an idol in your heart. My encouragement is to ditch the phone every once in awhile, be freed from the stream of information, plug deeply into community and relish in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Just remember, the Psalmist declared, “In your presence is the fullness of joy and at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” It is only for your good that you pursue Christ. For in Christ, there is the fullness of joy — your iPhone can never promise that.
In my next post, I detail the blessings I received from putting down my phone on a consistent basis.