My son and I were walking on the Sugar Creek Greenway in Charlotte yesterday. We took a nice stroll on a cool day to enjoy being outside, and just having fun. I saw this outside of the Target, and I couldn’t help but to laugh. I was wondering if you opened up the lock box, and there was a happy face inside. Too often we find ways to keep people out of our lives, and our facial expressions are the main way we do. Another way we block people out is we choose what we show them. Often we use social media as the main way we communicate with people.
I watched a short but interesting interaction this morning at Starbucks. There was a long table across from me, and there was one guy sitting there with his laptop and headphones. An older guy came up, and saw a newspaper laying on the other end of the long table. He asked the guy at the laptop was this his, and he said no it belonged to last group sitting there. The older gentleman really didn’t hear him that well because this is the loudest Starbucks in all of Charlotte. The older gentleman then asked if the he was done with it. The guy at the laptop clearly agitated by having to talk about the newspaper paper abruptly said, just take it. What really stood out to me is what the guy on the laptop was doing at the time. It looked like he was chatting with others on Facebook.
As a society we have started to further isolate ourselves from true social interaction by focusing on our digital friends as opposed to human conversation. We choose social media over social interaction. I will be the first to say, I love connecting with people all over the world, but it does not replace the need and desire to be around real people. We want to be around people. For some of us more than others, but it is something we need. The main problem with our social media relationships is they see what we want them to see. They only see the parts of you that you want them to see.
How often are we real and authentic in our daily tweets and Facebook posts? Most times we are showing off something we are doing, or we want others to see how awesome our life is. We only want people to see the best parts of our life, and leave out the negative parts. When we are with people in real life, they see us for who we really are. True friends are your friends even when you are frustrated they stick with you. They will also call you out when you need to get back in line, and it is much more difficult to ignore them. It is easier to ignore our digital friends when we don’t like what they say or disagree with them. You can choose to defriend or block them out. How do we stay connected in a world that easily isolated? Step one, find a small group at church with similar interests. Step two, go. Don’t cut the social media off completely, but take advantage of any opportunities that are out there for you to get to know real people. Don’t be like the sad lock box, open yourself up.
Proverbs 27:17: As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.