Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Technical difficulties

I despise some of the (almost pornographic) ads on myspace. (What's with 90% of myspace users named something that sounds like a My Little Pony figure?). That's why I use Facebook, where they make users use their real names and there's way less compromising ads.
But I get overwhelmed with how many ways we can be contacted nowadays. I'm having to defend myself from the guilt that comes when I don't return these requests (or pokes) in a timely matter. The call back list seems to grow daily for me. Sigh...

Facebook messages, TEXTs, IM's, Voice mails on the cell, home, and office phone.
Then there's Email--most of us have not just one, but two, even three. Skype (video chat) and I can't believe I joined TWITTER, but I like the way you can connect it to facebook. So I dug my own hole, but I intend to use these avenues of communication for God with good, guiltless boundaries. I want to connect people and share stories, prayer, and scripture via my updates (I'll spare you *and my time* from taking any quizzes. Sorry to sound snobby, I just don't want to know what type of Bacon, Fungus, or Disney princess I am:). I'll accept anyone who wants to be my virtual friend even the most random people that I wonder why they requested me. Do they really want to keep in touch or just have a large number of virtual friends? I guess I'll never know. ( much time comparatively do you think we spend on the computer compared to face to face conversations with real humans and even with God praying or reading the Bible? I'm convicted). A friend of mine blogged about why she wouldn't get a facebook and a lot her points called me out.

Here's some questions I have in general about this growing part of American life:
Does all this tech stuff make us more
FB, Twitter, myspace, and blogs give us us more ways to tell the world about US? I mean does the world really need me to update my status with:

7:48am I woke up. Still tired. Furry Teeth.
8:30-I ate cheerios, two bowls. Honey Nut.
9:30am-Deodorant. Old Spice. Ever Clear. Goes on smooth.
11:57-I'm chewing gum and it's really stale.

You've got to watch this Twitter spoof.

We have more venues to focus on ourselves and this isn't always good. See this article on MSN.
How do we monitor this and protect ourselves from overly indulging in our self?

2-Does all this advancement in technology just give us more distractions from engaging in real life? I think sometimes yes that's why we need good boundaries. I have to deliberately TURN OFF my phone and computer--everything to have some quiet and also to give my family my best attention. I'm ashamed at how much I feel "compelled" to check email in the car or anytime during the day. I'm trying to give myself some hours of use and I'm limiting my Facebook time to prevent an addiction. Shane Hipps thinks all this virtual engagement diminishes community. Watch his video. What do you think?

I want to be aware. Challenged. Connected to God and real community. But don't expect me to bail completely from all this tech stuff. I really do enjoy it and see it's benefits. It's good when used in moderation, for intentional purposes, and for a tool to inform and encourage. Still, I want to be careful for my own heart, and especially for my family as I make a statement with how I spend time time. And like I recently shared, I don't want to be known as a hubby/dad stuck to my cell phone or glued to my computer. Now with that: Turn off the computer and do something. Start a revolution. Play a board game with your spouse. Go outside. Talk to a friend. Hug a tree, just don't plant a virtual one on my facebook, please.

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