Confession: I don’t really like screens and devices. Don’t get me wrong, I like them, they serve a purpose, and I am grateful for the progression they have provided our society. I would not be working from home if technology was not a thing. I wouldn’t be a graphic designer, a blogger, or earn any sort of income while raising my family. For those things, YES I am incredibly grateful. But those are for work things – not all of my life things.
Social media, Lives, Zoom calls – they have always left me with something more to desire. It has never really felt like true connection. It has always felt like a façade, a mask, a way to hide how desperately lonely we actually are in our lives.
Que pandemic and ALL the things are online. Isn’t it great they say? We can do school from our computers? We can worship, we can have zoom happy hour and funerals and book clubs. We can just connect this way and everything will be fine.
But it’s not fine. Now more than ever we are being bombarded with all the information and “good” things the internet can provide us. And you know what? I am overwhelmed and paralyzed and honestly wish it wasn’t even an option. How different would it be if we were forced to really just be with our families? How different would it be if we didn’t have tv shows, and facebook entertainment and Instagram? What if we really had to read a book, play a game, and get down on our hands and knees to play with our kids? What if we didn’t have to cram down a less than satisfactory education via e-learning, and could just teach our kids the way we know how as parents? What if academics could just be put on hold in light of teaching compassion, empathy, love, and real life-skills? What if more technology really isn’t better?
There is something different about sitting in an actual room with someone. Holding sacred space, seeing their facial expressions, providing comforting touch when needed, or simply sitting in silence together. There is an energy that no screen can ever provide. And this is why in a world of online connection and technology, I feel more lonely now, than I ever did before. With every online façade of real life things – the desperation, the depression, the isolation, the longing in me grows. No online thing will ever fix this. No e-learning, no live church worship service, no zoom call, will ever fix this season. This is not how life was meant to be. This is not how God created us to function. We were created for human connection. Real, in person, connection. Fellowship. Community. Doing life together. Our village has been severed and my only prayer is that it hasn’t shattered the morale and mental health of our people.
Right now, every company, every nonprofit, ever brand is promoting free and “good” content for us. And while a lot of it is in fact good, it is just too much. We are being bombarded with too much information, too many roles, too many things. And while the world is telling you more – you need more, you need to do more, you need to hoard more, be more – I want to do something different. I want to stop and ask you, what do you actually need right now? I’m going to guess it isn’t another facebook live yoga session, painting lesson, circle time…but rather something rare. I am going to go out on a limb and guess that it looks more like someone simply listening. Providing compassion, empathy, and space. I want to be the “tell me more” person, not the “let me tell you” person.
So here I am. I am listening. Tell me more.