Do you remember a time when you met someone while shopping or out to dinner? Or maybe you ran in to the same person everyday when you dropped the kiddos off at daycare or school? Did you ever meet someone in the cafeteria because they had the same lunch time as you? Better yet, do you remember when you spent an afternoon at the park and visited with the people you met while the kids played, or you walked, or by inviting another family to join yours to toss the Frisbee or play kickball?
It seems like these days are far and few between. Instead of building relationships and friendships over a cup of coffee or small ice cream cone at the park it has become easier to “get connected” or “network” from the comfort of our homes. From one keyboard to another we “meet” people and build a relationship based on the photograph on the screen and their social networking page. I haven’t decided if this has trickled down to our children or if it started there and we’re being dragged down in order to have some sense of a social life.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy social networking and the Internet. It’s also a great tool to “meet” all of you. Just today, I set aside time so if you wanted to “Follow” the blog on your Facebook through a “Networked Blogs” you can by clicking on the link to the left. I have stayed “connected” to friends from high school, previous coworkers, and even the parents from preschool and playground days when our daughter was much younger.
Would we have remained in touch with these people if it weren’t for social networking and email? I’m both sad and ashamed to say probably not. So I’m very thankful for this “tool” to stay “connected” with people who have impacted my life and helped to make me who I am today.
Another aspect and spiral to this transition is the change the Internet, especially social networking has established for authors and speakers. I’ve attended a few conferences in the past couple years and if it weren’t for the “tool” of email and my social “network” I might not have correspondence with the amazing writers, authors, bloggers, and people I have met in my travels.
WAIT a minute, did you catch that? Whatever happened to pen and paper with the terrible tasting stamp addressed envelope…aren’t these new people valuable enough to deserve a few moments out of my time so I can let them know the impact they had on my life? I LOVE receiving cards in the mail still to this day. There is something powerful and special in a handwritten note. I used to send a few out each week and today I hang my head like the dog who got in the garbage while we were asleep…it doesn’t happen anymore.
The new and ever changing technology helps us “network” and get “connected” to others yet there is something precious lost when the human interaction is removed from the scenario. I’m thankful for Skype that allows us to see our beautiful foreign exchange daughter from France (when our schedules coincide) or our handsome nephew serving half way across the world yet nothing beats sitting on the back porch visiting with a friend while watching the birds and lake, or coffee and immense laughter over the silliest things while our children giggle in the other room, or best yet…the time spent with our family around the kitchen table.
My challenge for you today is to “get connected” with the people under your roof. Have dinner, play a game, watch a movie, and simply talk about life. Who knows what you are missing. Our daughter will start high school in the fall…where did the elementary and middle school go? I’m thankful for the conversations, Q &A’s, and memories made together without a digital device or the Internet “connecting” us. God didn’t send a text…He sent His One and Only Son!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323