Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The electronic divide...a challenge for the summer!

With a few strokes of the keys, one can breathe life...or death... into the lives of those that surf the never ending wall of photos, quotes and just plain 'look at what I'm doing today' post. My how life has become so complicated, so self absorbed since the introduction of the world wide web. Social media. Information overload. At a moment's notice you can diagnose an illness or discover a long lost friend...or enemy. Instantly finding out who's hating who or who is loving who. Causing a great divide among friends and families. Secrets exposed. Thoughtless words written on a wall for all to see. Boldness behind words that would otherwise be thought about before they were ever spoken. If spoken at all. With a click of a "Like" button, a view of a heart exposed. Often finding myself gasping rather than cheering with excitement.

Before social media, friendships had real meaning. Real friendships include spending real time together, doing real events, making real connections. Investing ones self with time and attention. Now you can have hundreds of friends and never spend one second with any of them. What kind of friendship is that? Have we replaced meaningful friendships with superficial ones? I think I would rather have a few friends I can invest my time in rather than hundreds who all I do is sit and glimpse into their daily grind of life. Never really investing myself into that friendship. In fact, I'm hearing many young people questioning who their "REAL" friends are. Hearing them say... " I have no friends." Has social media distorted their definition of true friendship? Time wasted punching keys instead of investing ourselves into the lives of those we call Time with handheld devices in front of our faces instead of eye to eye contact while having a meaningful conversation. Will our children even know what a real conversation looks like? Feels like?

Social media has replaced friendships and email has replaced handwritten letters. What was suppose to make life easier has really complicated and cluttered our lives. Our children will never know the beauty of a handwritten letter from a long lost friend. Do you even remember what it felt like to receive a handwritten letter? The uncomplicated  moment of a true friendship.  The embrace of an old friend whom they haven't seen in years while spending time catching up on life with them without the electronic screen in front of them. Hearing a friend's voice instead of reading their words.

My how life has changed! Oh for the days of electronic silence just to hear the laughter of our children as they run and play. Summertime friendships with mason jars and chasing fire flies. .lightening bugs. Running in the sprinklers. Laying on quilts at night as they gaze up at the stars. Riding bikes until dark...or the street lights come on.

What will their childhood memories be like? Will they care that every little bleep of their lives are recorded for all to see? What stories will they tell their children? Have we given our children a life worth relishing in when they grow old? How will the investments we make today pay out in our children's tomorrow?

Memories we make today will be the stories our children speak of tomorrow.....

 I want to challenge you all! This summer take a 1 week break from ALL electronic devices. No Internet, NO TV. Just 1 week! This will take much planning but so worth it. Oh the silence! The first few days will be hard but the reward will be amazing! Take the time to give your full attention to a friend or family member. Go chase fire flies! Lay on a quilt at night and gaze up at the stars....I did this with my grandmother. It's one of my most favorite memories! Read a real book. Call an old friend and make a lunch date. Have a family sit down at the same table meal, at the same time. Listen to your kids voices. Their laughter. Play a real board game. Look your spouse in the eye and see what color their eyes are. Remind them of why they married you in the first place....way before the Internet! These are just some suggestions.  Please share if you have others! I'm going to try and document my week and hope to share it with you here. Now... to challenge my family! SO...the challenge is starting with me. Hopefully they will follow.  Have fun and let me know how you do! Oh, If you flop one day....don't get discouraged! Get back up and start again! The reward is in the trying!