Our culture has an obsession with media. As a Youth Director I see it first hand. At any given time around 20 teenagers you can guarantee that at least two of them are texting, updating a facebook status, or looking at some sort of screen. Now before you quit reading this post thinking it to be just another anti-media rant, just hear me out.
I love media. I love being able to be in contact with people quickly. I love being able to hear of a story and then getting all of the details a couple clicks later. However, media and connectedness should never trump life in front of our eyes.
Last night, Kelsey and I went bowling. (Don’t ask me what the score was, I am too embarrassed!) As we continued to bowl a young family came to the lane next to us. There was a mom and dad, both in their younger 30’s, with two girls between the ages of 7-10.
As Kelsey and I continued to bowl we started to take notice of the said family. The two little girls screamed and giggled as they knocked over pins and got gutter balls, but at the same time the parents of the girls neglected to be as excited.
I glanced over to find mom and dad buried in their smartphones checking who-knows-what. The only time mom got off of her phone was to bowl herself–dad didn’t bowl at all.
The worst part of it all was when the older girl gently and slowly rolled the ball down the lane and actually got a strike, she screamed and ran back to her parents, and you guessed it: they didn’t even see it.
Now, it is really easy for me to be judgmental in a situation like this and to jump to hasty conclusions. But I have to question those parents: Was what ever you were checking on your phone worth it? Was it worth more than witnessing your daughter get a strike probably for the first time?
I have little doubt that the same couple probably lays in bed next to one another doing the same thing–and they probably wonder: I wonder why we are never intimate anymore? Or, Our marriage feels so distant…
And I will bet that 10 years from now, one of those daughters (if not both) will refuse to communicate with her parents, to which they will think: We did everything right? Didn’t we?
Again, it is really easy to judge. But what I am trying to say is this: You can’t multi-task when it comes to media. Period.
I don’t care if you’re a woman and you think you can, the reality is: If you’re trying to have a conversation with me and with 10,000 others on your phone at the same time, I am no going to feel as important as your phone.
So, if you have a smartphone, do those closest (and I don’t mean facebook or twitter followers) around you a favor: turn it off. Before you know it, your friend/daughter/son/husband/wife/(Insert close relationship here_____) will be off to college/wanting a divorce/estranged/moving away/dead/(insert dramatic change here____).
Like I said, media is great, but face-to-face relationship is far greater.