When I first started at my current job, I recieved a work phone. It was an iphone, and while I swore that I would never go over to that cell company(yeah, you know the one), the one that first carried those little amazing pocket computers which they tried to pass off as phones but couldn’t due to all the dropped calls, I decided to use the phone, cause…..well…I mean why not? It’s a free iphone after all. So while using it a significant event occurred, I fell in love with the phone and it’s many apps. So when the iphone came out for that other cell company (who my personal cell plan is through), you know the one where your calls don’t drop and it’s actually a good phone? I got one on my personal plan and started using that as my work\personal phone. Now along with that I also went from an iphone 3 to an iphone 4.
Intro to the wonder of FaceTime. So my wife’s best friend, who happens to be our neighbor, also has an iphone 4. So we decided to test it. Amazing!!! We could talk and see each other even though we were in different rooms in the house. My wife and I could talk face to face while separated by space. Even better, I used my Skype app to speak with a friend, face to face, on separate continents, for free, while using my cell network (read no wifi and in the middle of a field). This is an incredible peice of technology.
However, once the magic of all of this wore off, I realized something. I was reminded of the current trend of our society to replace strong relationships (face to face) with soft relationships (electronic media like Facebook). Then I realized that FaceTime lies to you…a little bit. It gives you an easy way to believe that you have a strong relationship while talking to someone face to face when, in reality, you aren’t actually in the same room with the person that you are talking to. Although this feature is useful, like with my friend in Scotland or any other expats that I know since I can’t see them face to face as it is; even with that, we need to realize the dangers of begining to see Facebook and Twitter as our primary means of 1 on 1 comunication. My concern here is that by replacing strong relationships with more weak relationships, we are denying an important part of our existence in the ability to show an aspect of God’s image through life together in community. This heavily impacts the gospel and how it’s presented.
Do things like FaceTime and Facebook affect our culture positively, negatively, or both? Are there ways the we can begin to use things like Facebook, Twitter, or FaceTime in such a way that we can greater reflect Jesus in the way we communicate? How does social media both positively and negatively impact the gospel taking hold in our culture and our lives?