“Therefore encourage and build one another up, just as you are already doing.” (1 Thess. 5:11 NIV)
One of my earliest memories was watching my Mom talk on our old rotary dial telephone. I was fascinated that she was talking to someone who wasn’t actually in the room with her. When she finally hung up and left the room I slowly walked over to the phone and stared at it for a minute. Then I gently reached down and picked up the receiver. When I put it to my ear I was shocked to hear voices still speaking on it. I quickly and quietly hung it back up not knowing what to make of it. Later my older brother explained to me that we were on a party line and couldn’t make a call while someone else was using it.
That, of course, was a long time ago. We switched to a private line soon after that and then later got a push button phone. Next came mobile phones that you could carry around the house with you. After that came computers, cell phones, and smart phones. These days I can send an e-mail half way around the world in a second. My daughter’s smart phone has a hundred apps and a dozen social media accounts. She stores all of her information in a mysterious place known as the cloud. We are it seems more connected in this world than ever before.
What bothers me, though, is that as much as we are connected to each other, we rarely connect with each other. Few people write letters to each other these days. Few take the time to talk face to face. Instead of talking on the phone we text. Instead of looking into our loved ones’ eyes we stare down at our phones. Instead of holding hands we scroll and swipe. It seems like the most connected generation may also be the loneliest.
Don’t let that happen. Don’t let technology take your time and your life away from you. Make the time to talk, to live, and to love. Make the time to meet, to pray, and to touch. Take a walk on the beach with a friend. Sit on the porch and watch the sunset. Play a game of chess or checkers. Hold hands and say Grace before a meal. Have a long conversation with the phones off and the hearts on. Connect offline as well as online.
Remember that God put us here to love each other. God put us here to help each other. God put us here to make this world a better place. When your technology can help you to do these things then use it. But when it can’t turn it off.
By: Joseph J. Mazzella