Thursday, April 3, 2008

Caffeine, Thumbs, and Free Wifi (kind of)

I sit here in Starbucks (imagine that huh?) and amaze myself at how connected my generation is. Blessing or curse? Is technology tearing apart our world? I’d say anything created by man that is not controlled can break loose and become a monster that rips stuff up. The point is not to make this argument, but simply to reflect upon how “connected” my generation is…

Here is a snap shot of what I look like right now in Starbucks:

I’m writing on my lap top, checking Facebook, Gmail, and Google talk, just sent a text message to a friend, checking my phone’s email account, and answering phone calls, all while drinking my white chocolate mocha and listening to my new sweet iPod nano.

So as I toggle between laptop, gmail, google talk, facebook, and pda/cell phone internet, email, and text messages I sat back and laughed to myself. I can contact anyone in the world practically within under a minute. I have the ability to stay connected to anyone anywhere. Go ahead, chuckle at yourself. You may even be reading this from your iPhone or other nifty mobile device or laptop while sitting at a coffee shop indulging in society, abstract music, and espresso.

How many friends on facebook or myspace do you have? We like text messaging primarily for one reason, it doesn’t require us getting into a conversation in which we can get lost into what we may think to be meaningless chatter, off subject material. Facebook and myspace are so appealing because we don’t have to allow people in on our turf, we can keep them at a safe stiff arms distance. It’s not comfortable when someone gets in your “bubble” is it?

So as I lay in this riverbed of dried up spirituality within the urban context I wonder within our endless ways of staying in touch and keeping relationships current, there must be something we can do to see them become what they were intended to be….intimate. One man says that the ideal intimate relationship can be described when, “two souls experience each other.” I think task is impossible with the means we use today. These tools we use are and can be great tools to create and maintain relationships, but I’m always held speechless as I look around at the activity of people within the coffee shop in my local neighborhood, iPods on, text messaging on your phone, checking myspace and facebook pages, chatting on aim and google talk, etc. Its like we do a really good job at doing this relationship thing but fail miserably at being in them in the purest since of the word. I suggest it is due to a lack of substance within. What I’ve noticed is that when people begin to get into each others spaces, ask tough questions, go through life together, share fears, pains, doubts, and experience each other, then this relationships stuff starts to slow down and be less of a blur. We move so fast that we leave broken pieces of ourselves laying around yearning for a true relationship (friendship) and it isn’t until we slow down to actually look into someone’s eyes, listen, and share ourselves do we see these broken little fragments of our broken attempts to fulfill what we were meant to be alone, do we see healing.

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