As I mentioned before, last week I was at a youth ministry conference in Chicago. Mark Yaconelli, one of the key speakers shared how our youth want rescue from technology. They are longing for authentic relations. He said, “Nobody knows how to live in this culture. We are spellbound and mesmerized.”
We blame the texting, iphone carrying young people. As we were walking through exhibit hall, my co-leader Andrew pointed at the adults sitting at their displays. All of them were on iphones, ipads, or texting. I sat in Wendy’s earlier this week with my three children and we were laughing over a funny story. I looked one booth over to see a small child quietly sipping her frosty while both her parents were texting.
Really I am just as guilty. I was on the phone earlier this evening talking to someone and entering my calorie count on My Fitness Pal at the same time. It is common for me to surf facebook while I am juggling three other things. There are days I check my e-mail every hour.
I was talking to a 20 something woman a couple of weeks ago. She shared with me her only contact with other people in a week besides her co-workers was at church on Sundays. Another person confided in me that she did not have any close friends and it had been months since she had gone out with anyone socially. Loneliness was becoming a problem. How can we have 352 facebook friends, but we have no one in our lives we can confide in?
Nobody knows how to live in this culture.
It’s no wonder one of the themes for MOPS (which is a ministry I have been involved in for five years) is “no mom left alone.” Because loneliness seems to be more of a problem today than for the moms of previous generations. Even though we are connected even more through blogs, facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and Pinterest. We seem to be connected less when it comes to transparent and authentic friendships.
I am convinced we have put ourselves out there. Go to the book club. Visit the fellowship group. Join the running club. Find a Bible Study. You have so many excuses not to. You can make instant friends on facebook. But that is not the way the world works. It takes months–even years. But it’s worth it the risk of “putting yourself out there.”