When he comes to visit, Little Man demands my attention. If I dare pick up the computer, here he comes wanting to watch his favorite video in my lap. If I look at my smart phone, he wants to open his favorite app and play Choo-Choo. If I am eating, he wants some of what I have. If I try to sneak out to the garbage can, he is pushing the screen door open in hot pursuit. My house is very small, but he wants constant visual contact. He wants me to play games with him, read stories to him, do puzzles with him, and hold him. Tickle is his favorite game and he cannot get enough of me blowing on his belly, poking his ribs, gently squeezing his leg fat--all producing bursts of laughter. He just wants to be close to me--and what joy to be close to him.
A gentle reminder--the most dear of times in my life have been spent in face to face contact with others. I become accustomed to living in the cave and winter months tend to keep me inside more than I like. OH HOW I MISS MY FIREPLACE! My face to face contact begins to be substituted with emails and texts and messages. It is not the same-far from it. The life stories that have been shared with me have all been one on one. The great debates and discussions about God, life, and theology have all been verbal---face to face. No hugs can come across cyber space--no kisses -no expressions fly through the mysterious world of the internet. There is no warm touch, no hand held, no shoulder patted, and no snug hug in this new world we live in on the WWW.
Not to say it all is bad. I now travel with a great sense of relief that I have my smart phone with me to guide me and keep me connected in case of emergency. I have met many wonderful blogger friends through the wide world of blogging. I would have never known them--learned from them--enjoyed their acquaintance without modern technology. I have reconnected with friends from long ago and stay connected with friends from a lifetime. It would be impossible to stay connected without the new cyber world. So no, it is not all bad, but it has become skewed far too much into the silent world of the cyber and away from the noisy yet beautiful world of the physically present.
I am becoming greatly concerned with where we are headed and what I am observing in the generations coming behind us. They are all plugged in to the cyber and unaware of their immediate surroundings. Look around when in a restaurant and notice how many are staring at their phones and not at each other. All this technology is not bad--BUT when our personal relationships begin to suffer and change because of it we are headed down the chasm of aloofness. I fear we are loosing the ability to be true friends and forgetting how important the gift of time and presence is to each other.
Little Man is showing me---talk to me--face to face. Be present in my life and show me your love. Let me hear the sound of your voice and see the expression on your face. To be close--truly close---intimately involved--it takes face to face--eye to eye--word to word--heart to heart encounters. Lord, help me to remember and turn off and tune in to those by my side.
Now we see but a poor reflection; then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
I Corinthians 13:12