I was speaking with somebody last week. It started with a simple question; I provided the answer, and then asked a question in return that I knew would crack open the conversational door a bit further.

This person began to talk about a topic close to their heart. They are passionate and committed and excited about this topic. Lots of hopes and dreams and plans and ideas.

I was interested. But after about five sentences – which is EXACTLY how I saw it in my mind, I kid you not, I saw their voice as literal words and sentences streaming out of their mouth and hanging above their head – a clear thought came to my mind.

“I only wanted your status update.”

I had to fight to pay attention to what this person was actually telling me. Now, to be fair, I actually was in the middle of some work, but it was a relatively minor interruption, all things considered. I had fifteen minutes to spare.

But then I couldn’t get over the horrific realization that all I wanted was a status update. And it was just that clear to me, even as I sat face to face with this real, live human being. I was conditioned to want nothing more than a brief, pithy update. Nothing detailed.

Oh, man. Is social media influencing and impacting the world? Duh.

Is it impacting me? Duh.

It’s time for a mindful intervention, I think.

God, forgive me.

2 thoughts on “Horrified

  1. I have found myself guilty of this too. It's really disconcerting.

    We are thinking in bytes nowadays. Books are starting to be written about this phenomenon. It's real.

    How to respond? I found, for myself, that I had to unplug from Facebook. Not a total “fast” like some people do, but to gently disengage myself from it. I used to be hooked on FB and I felt the Holy Spirit saying to me that it was time to cut back.

    If I can spend an hour trolling through status updates and making pithy remarks, why am I not spending that time connecting with God, or with the people living and breathing around me?

    Someone young and wise wrote about this a little while back: http://elijahschhh.blogspot.com/2009/12/great-reversal.html

    Now, I post less, comment less, check it less. Skim it more. Look for what's meaningful there, and respond to that. I've also cut way back on Twitter.

    I cannot totally disengage from social media, because I, like you, need to stay tapped into it for our work. And it's fun. But when we get to the point where our patience is measured out in the proverbial 140 characters, then it's time for a reality check.

    To be in this world, but not of it.


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