Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Relationships with skin

this afternoon, i was reading an article about the rise of instant messaging throughout our society...with both kids and adults. there's some pretty amazing figures about how many "im" and how much they do it.

(ok...i'm just now getting back to writing because i was just answering a text from one of the kids in our youth group. talk about current...)

anyway, one of the things the article says is that 43% of teenagers use it to say things to people that they wouldn't say in person. accepting dates, turning down dates, breaking up, "facing" conflict, expressing anger. this doesn't surprise me. but a comment by a 34 year old adult is the one that leaves me frustrated:

Danny Hitt, 34, a real estate agent in Riverside, Calif., says he has chatted with four or five IM buddies at once — a number some teens would consider embarrassingly low. He prefers the telephone for important communications. "To me, a significant conversation takes a phone call," Hitt said. "The inflection in the voice, you lose that" with instant messages.

significant conversations take place on the phone? you gotta be kidding me. what is happening to us? my frustration with the comment is that it's true. and he's not even telling the half of it. we have become people that hide behind phone calls and emails and text messages and fake handshakes and distant smiles and unresolved conflicts and fear that speaking the truth will draw us into relationships that will demand more of us than we want to give.

i'm with danny...you lose the inflection of the voice with instant messages. and you lose connection with no eye contact...and you lose conviction with no body language...and you lose trust with no smile and confidence with no heart.

i like relationship with skin. even if there's bad news. being part of a body demands it.


luke said...

I'm so guilty of this. I text so I don't have to talk about other stuff. I email so I don't have to be asked personal questions by a salesman. Can't let them into your life. Have to keep it business and get right to the point. Whose to say that if I didn't let them into my life and show them my faith that they wouldn't ask me about God? I would bet there is a pretty good chance they would.

Anonymous said...

I love technology. But I often wonder what Jesus thinks of it. I can't imagine the conversation with the Samaritan woman taking place via IM. I don't think Jesus would have just published the Sermon on the Mount in an online article. The transcript maybe, but I can't see his only vehicle of delivery being online. I use technology to communicate. But I'd much rather see a smile than a :); much rather hear a laugh than read "lol" and much rather feel a hug than...hmmmm wonder what the symbol is for an online hug.

Wendy said...

Oddly - I agree yet disagree.

I think it depends on your circumstances. For example, I can't imagine having any sort of significant conversation being a mom with two young kids vying for my time and attention. Running home-based businesses has been tricky for me with "significant" and "important" phone calls scheduled often days in advance...the more important/significant that more likely it is that I'll have a babysitter so that my significant conversations don't dwindle down into insignificant and distracted ramblings while I watch life explode around me. =) In fact, over 90 percent of my global clients and I handle all of the details over the internet/shared workspaces/email, chats, etc...there have been clients I've only talked to ONCE over the phone and have worked on 4 to 5 figure contracts with them over the course of several years.

Maybe b/c I'm female, a writer, etc...I find that I am VERY transparent and detailed in my writing compared to what my brain/mind can get out face to face with all of the real life distractions.

While there is something to be said about one-on-one face to face and voice-to-voice conversations that are VITAL to establishing and maintaining relationships...sometimes all time and life can afford are emails and text messages.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous -

Symbols for hugs online are

[] = hugs

(( )):** = hugs and kisses

((((Wendy)))) = hug

O = as in "hugs and kisses" XOXO