“If this was alcohol instead of a phone I would say, I am deeply, deeply in bondage to drink. If it was food, I would say, I’ve really got a serious problem with food here that in any moment of empty time I’m eating.”
(Tim Challies) At a recent event in Johannesburg, South Africa, I was asked about the relationship of churches and social media, and also asked about cell phone addiction (and information about my experiment in getting rid of my smart phone for a time). In these two videos I give my answers.
Watch the videos on Tim’s blog.
Problems for churches with internet and social media; I do think the gossip factor is huge. I think the, I think the over-reliance on. So, again there’s a lot of communication, I think, is far better done face to face, but it seems so convenient and so easy to do it through media and so we tend to go that way instead. You just think about the amount of things we used to do in life face to face that we now do through media. Right, we used to have to go into a bank and talk to a banker, now we just put our card in a machine and punch in our number and we get our money out, or we just do it through the internet, right. We used to have to actually talk to people face to face, now we do Facetime or we do Skype and a lot of these things are great. What is pornography, right, but putting a screen between ourselves and a sexual partner? So there’s so many things in life that we now do through a screen, through a little glowing rectangle or through a bigger computer screen. I mean, this is what we’re doing.
I don’t know that churches have thought very well about some of the costs and consequence that comes as we go way towards the convenience factor and away from the very social factor of being together, sharing space. Again, there’s so much we communicate as we talk to one another, almost all of it gets lost when we communicate through Facebook or through email which is why we developed Emoji’s and other things, right. Because when you type a sentence, I don’t know if you’re yelling it, I don’t know if you’ve got that sarcastic tone to your voice, I don’t know if you, I don’t know any of that stuff, right. But, when we speak face to face you get all of that by hearing my tone, by seeing my body language, by seeing my face. We communicate in this really holistic way. The more we drift towards media, towards social media, the more of that we lose. We try and compensate in other ways, but for now, it’s just a very one-dimensional form of communication.