Texting is usually the easiest way to contact someone, near or far. It's convenient and seemingly harmless. But from past experience, I would argue otherwise. Being able to contact any person you have a relationship with by simply moving your thumbs around for a few seconds enables risky business. Myself, hating small talk, means I'm talking more about deep conversations. It creates a false sense of vulnerability, when in reality, saying those things in person would be less vulnerable. Especially in the age of screen shots. But since we can't see the other person, their body language (about 93% of communication), and we have time to formulate EXACTLY what we want the other person to know, it implies that there's a wall of protection-but it's actually just taking all emotion, feeling, and personal responsibility away. This is where relationships get confusing and intentions and lines become blurred (I resent that song). We also trick ourselves into accepting this kind of communication, especially with intimate relationships. It's fairly easy to think "Wow, this super attractive person just shared their life with me, I must be special." Basically, texting allows us to become double-sided people too often. Sharing things with someone via text and not in person just complicates everything. Deep, meaningful conversations late at night paired with occasional cordiality just doesn't line up. We weren't created to stop at a certain point and be okay. These relationships started and fueled by texting hurt.
Disclaimer: I enjoy social media and I'm not bashing on it as a whole but I think it must be used properly, okay that's all. I can't tell you how often I've heard of girls getting creeped on via social media. And maybe this happens to some guys,too, not sure! But what in the world is it with this passive and private flirting via Facebook message?! It's a cop out, that's what. It literally takes no...guts, to message a girl and be borderline flirty. Ambiguous smiley faces and awkwardly distasteful compliments are not the way to go. I realize the amount of pressure it is, especially in facing rejection- nobody likes that- but if you're gonna do it, DO IT. Also, subtly favoriting or liking posts on social media is NOT flirting. *end rant (kind of)* Social media and texting contain several similar flaws. Another thing we face with Twitter, Facebook, and especially Instagram, is our innate nature to compare. We see other people posting one, "perfect moment" of their day repeatedly over time and naturally assume that their life is made up entirely of those "perfect moments" of Starbucks bliss, sunsets, and anything vintage. And their past looks perfect too thanks to #throwbackthursday. Why isn't my life that sweet? Why don't I look hott without a filter? We weren't created to be perfect, it's impossible. Sometimes social media makes us think it is, though.
And if we're skillful at posting, we become prideful. Basing value off of likes and comments, whether we realize it or not.
Scripture often points out how we were created to be relational; relational to others and relational to God. In fact, relationships are an incredible reflection of God's glory and love for us, a reflection of his pursuit. One of the most satisfying blessings on this side of Heaven, in my opinion. However, with so much noise in this world, so much digital communication, being relational has become comfortable. And convenient. "Investing in someone" is often done by texting them every once in a while. Is that really investing though? Sure, it lets the person know you thought about them, but where is the sacrifice in that? It literally takes no effort to shoot a quick text from your bed. Wouldn't it say more to text them and ask to get coffee or Skype? To honestly devote time out of your schedule to listen to another person? Real, sacrificial investment needs to be happening. But two people with screens in front of them suffices. It's easy, and allows us to feel good about ourselves. Pretty non-confrontational and safe too, which is usually good(sarcasm). I recognize that there are people worth investing in that digital communication is necessary, and I don't think that it can't be used. It just has to be in moderation and intentional. Many of my Jr. High girls live more than three hours away from me, so yes, I text them about their lives, but Skype dates are also made so that we can really talk. It's so, so, so important to be investing in the people we do life with, wherever we are in life. God will use a willing heart anywhere, though it's a dangerous prayer to pray. In 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 it says Paul planted, Apollos watered, and God grew, everyone has a role to fill. Please don't do it halfheartedly. People everywhere are hurting, go after them and do life with them. Use texting and social media as needed, but don't let it be a mask or idol. Developing a discerning heart toward these things takes time, but it is possible. We were created to be relational and sometimes that calls us to be bold. Not comfortable.
Any thoughts on the topic of social media, texting, or technology in general? I'd love to hear them! Also, thanks for reading, friends.