Is Technology Killing Community and Connection?

Go out to a public place, and just take a look around. How many people do you see looking down at their phone, a tablet, or even a laptop?

image source: google & boredbug.com

Cell phones, and smart phones more specifically, along with tablets and laptops have made technology readily available. Email and the plethora of social media sites are constantly vying for our attention, and getting it.

With the onset and explosive growth of social media, society has slowly slipped away from reality, and has become more entranced with what is happening within a virtual social realm than what is actually happening around them.

I will be the first to admit, that I am guilty of this at times. People rarely acknowledge each other any more. They walk with their head down typing or scrolling away, and it is killing our sense of community and connection.

When thinking about community, I’m not referring to the cluster of houses within a neighborhood, I want you to think about a group of people who co labor through life together. Community is the interaction between individuals. Community, especially within the body of Christ, is vital.

Our smart phones get in the way during meetings, meals, and even checking out at the store. We would rather look at our phone, and scroll Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, than pay full attention to those we are with, even while in church. We miss the real world that is happening around us everyday, because we are glued to the little screens before us.

I could list out a bunch of scriptures for you about community and unity with in the body of Christ, rather HERE is a link to 50 verses on community I found. When we look through the New Testament, we see how believers were continually gathered together, and devoting themselves to each other. Today our gathering together may as well have each person on different planets. Our distraction and addiction to social media is overwhelming.

While technology is great for bringing family and friends together through things like Facebook and Face Time, it is also a hindrance when we lose connection in reality to those that are around us. It shows our lack of respect for our fellow human when we cannot connect with them face to face. We miss those that Christ has placed and brought before us, when we are enraptured by that little “blue” screen.

3 Times to Disconnect

  1.  Always put down your phone when you are checking out at a store or ordering at a restaurant. The person in front of you is more important than your call or whatever social media site that you are on. Make it a point to connect with the person before you. Acknowledge them with a greeting at the minimum.
  2. Make it a point to down your phone during meals. Whether you are out to lunch with friends, at a business lunch, or sitting down with your family. To share fellowship over a meal with someone is a whole other level of connection. If you are too distracted by your phone, email, and social media you miss out on a great connection with the person/people in front of you. Make it a point especially when sitting with your family, to put it away and give your children and/or spouse your full attention. Mealtime, whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner is a great opportunity for intimate conversation in your marriage. Granted, truth be told, I am not a talker at breakfast. I need coffee and food, and to wake up. But, other meals of the day involve conversations. 😉
  3. Finally, not only is technology bad for the body it can also be bad for your body. Make it a habit to disconnect each night at a certain time. This is difficult sometimes, especially for me. I like to browse social media while I wind down. But, let’s make it a habit to shut our phones, computers, and tablets off of social media an hour or two before bed to interact with our loved ones, and to let your brains wind down chemically. There are also studies done on the affect of blue light, (that which is produced by cell phones, laptops, and tablets,) and how it disrupts melatonin production and sleep. Here is a 2 minute video recently posted by Business Insider Australia describing the affects of cell phone light before bed, and the negative affects it has on your body.

 

Christ gave us food and drink, family and friends to enjoy this life and have communion with, all the while we escape to a fantasy realm of little screens, and social media. Let’s disconnect. Let’s bring back the real connection. Let’s rebuild community.

How much time do you spend on social media or technology each day, and do you think it affects your relationships with family or friends? If so, what will you do to lessen that impact? – Let me know in the comments below.

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