Navigating relationships (platonic, romantic and friendly) in the 21st century can be tricky.
We have all these amazing ways to stay connected to someone we randomly met who potentially lives 1,000 miles away. We text. We tweet. We ‘gram. We scope. We snap…but do we ever truly talk?
In a world of technology, the discussion has started to rise about the importance of face-to-face conversation outside of all of our social media and electronic communication. We fear for the next generation’s ability to speak and write effectively outside of text or chat speak. We have conversations about what it means that a four year old can’t speak more than two sentences without their attention wandering, yet they can play mine craft for two hours. But rather than place blame at the feet of the creators and inventors, or even the parents and caretakers, what if we focused our attention on creating authentic relationships based on conversation?
Where does real conversation happen? It happens when two people genuinely desire to know the other person and are willing to admit their own flaws in order to connect and have a discussion about real life. It happens when the individuals involved are aware of the strengths and weakness each bring to the table, knowing they will color their biases. Real conversation is not solely based on mutual agreeance, but rather is strengthened by a healthy debate of differing opinions.
Take a moment and think about your relationships, how are they suffering from a lack of intention and technological interruptions? C.S. Lewis is famous for the quote: “Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” We may develop relationships over commonalities, but if we never have more than fashion and coffee in common will we be able to take our relationship deeper into the iron sharpening iron phase (Proverbs 27:17)? Where we as friends can give and receive constructive, concerned criticism from those who love us.
The real concern here is that our worldly relationships color our relationship with God. We pray out loud – but do we have words with which to speak to our Heavenly Father? We know to speak to Him, to have daily communion with Him, but if we lack real relationships in our day to day lives, can we truly have one with Him? Our relationship with Him should be the most authentic portion of our lives. And hopefully, we don’t put Him on hold for our text messages and Snaps. If we are called to be Christlike in our behaviors, our relationships with others should reflect this same authenticity.