The Real World

“To really thrive, human beings need embodiment and community: rooms echoing with shared laughter, shoulders to cry on, hands to help move boxes or to deliver casseroles after a birth or a death. At best, the virtual world provides a hollow imitation of these goods; at worst, it offers us a panicked and solitary clutching at validation that leaves us feeling ever more alone” (Cassandra Nelson).

I love me some social media. I also love the ability to communicate and do stuff via texting and the interwebs. But I think it’s a poor substitute for real interaction with real people. These days, so many people spend all their time on their phones and other devices that I wonder if they experience anything that happens in real life.

I look forward to Lent every year when I take that much needed break from social media and have the extra time to do real life stuff. I don’t ever want to be so beholden to the virtual that I can’t function in the real world.

I wonder sometimes when I see someone glued to their phone instead of paying attention to their kids or their pets or their parents. I imagine some of them will look up one day to find their kids have all grown up and gone away, their pets have passed away, and their parents aren’t around anymore to tell stories and give advice. One day they’ll wish they had all that time back to use more wisely.

My advise to you and me is to use that time wisely now. Make time for people without phones involved. Make room in your life for sunsets and sunrises, gazing at stars, people watching, reading books, conversations with friends, and living your life. Above all, make time to spend time with God because that is time that is never wasted.

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