I was thinking to myself how Christians have followed the world into a sea of endless and nebulas form of social networking in the 21st century. It all started with the radio, then it was the television, then computer and video games, then email, chat rooms/forums, IM, blogs, and now, social network sites.
Take your pick, these developments have all done their share to replace real socializing for an empty, however popular, alternative to real relationship and socializing.
See, I broke it down in my mind the other day. I considered the stories Ive heard about my grandparents, and their parents, and how they could socialize with anyone anytime. How they would throw big parties that everyone wanted to attend, and would it they could. The parties were such a hit, most attendes would spend the night—I’m talking about 40-60 people crammed into a small farm house, and the like. What was it that these older generations had that we don’t today? While this may sound like an exceptional group of a bygone era, I pitch to you that it was far more common 50-70 years ago in America for all ages than it is today.
Today, you get to together with relatives for a reunion twice a year, and it’s an awkward three and a half hours as you slip in and out of the events of the day to play catch-up with everyone—repeating the same stories, even jokes, to everyone on your ‘compatible’ list. By the end of the evening, everyone who attended isn’t happy, but relieved to know they are escaping the clutches of yet one more meaningless gathering. Why is this?
I think that as technology boomed and drove people to find entertainment within the home on a daily basis, they found less and less reasons to gather together. See, socializing in the past was a huge form of entertainment for all. People got together and would entertain each other. By whatever they would do together. Games, music, sports, cooking, chat… These social events were the highlights for most people. Before there was reality TV, you got your reality show from real life friends and family with face-to-face interaction.
If Godly Christians want to make a difference, but don’t know how, you can start by firing up this sort of passionate hospitality in your home once again. Learn that socializing isn’t a drudgery, but an opportunity to entertain and be entertained with real people. Widdle down less and less of your time on YouTube and share with people you know face-to-face.
I’m not advocating we remove all the previously mentioned technologies from our lives. They are great tools and powerful in communicative abilities. We just can’t loose sight of the forrest through the trees in the process of connecting on Facebook. Take advantage of the opportunities you do have to bond real friendships and make a difference in people’s lives. If more Christians would live like this, it would undoubtedly make a Godly lifestyle the envy of modern culture, because people are ready for a social change once again, and the opportunity is before us.