My first concern is that the teens that I hang with regularly are going to be relationally dysfunctional. Actually, I can kind of see it already. Problem solving is done through texting. Getting to know someone is done by checking out their Facebook profile, and maybe chatting with them through the same website. Instead of calling to check on friends, it's easiest to just get on Twitter and see what they are doing... every hour... of every day...
I'm afraid that this pattern is going to continue throughout their high school years. and then into college. and then they're going to try to get a job and get married and have children. But their interpersonal, face to face, communication skills are still back in 6th grade. Where talking through a problem with someone is awkward and asking someone a question is difficult. Looking another person in the eye is weird and meeting someone and getting to know them in the same sitting is unheard of.
It worries me. and it worries me that I've bought into it too. I text the girls in our youth group more than I call them. I check on their facebook status to see how they are doing and I know when something is "up" and when something is going down. It's a great tool but it's a great curse.
and then I feel that God gave me this... ability. This gift. and it's to communicate with people. and I can do it fairly well. and I'm wasting it when I just dink around facebook or rely on the internet to sustain my friendships.
and I didn't even realize I was going to blog about all of this until I just typed it all out. and now I have to go and change the Title of this blog because it is completely NOT what I was going to write about. But I need to check myself on this frequently. I think we all do.
I want deep, lasting relationships and that is something that facebook, twitter, myspace, blogger... are not going to give me.