I've been talking with a LOT of teenagers recently, and I'm more convinced than ever we are in a dangerous cultural place.  Being more connected than ever through facebook, text messages, twitter, and all the other social media mediums; we're loosing the battle to help students develop meaningful relationships. 

Luke Parrott just posted a great article from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette written around Halloween.  Click Here for the full article. And I think you'll get the drift. 

Basically we're seeing a generation of students walking the hallways of high schools and the sidewalks of the University, feeling all alone.  They're trying to make sense of the world, but there are real hurdles people are trying to cross to learn meaningful human connections. 

I was talking to a friend last night about Facebook.  He told me he deleted his facebook account because he was spending too much time looking to see what everyone was doing.  In an epiphonal moment he said, "You know, sometimes I was feeling lonely and I just wanted to see if someone wrote on my wall to give me validation."  HOW SAD IS THAT?

We live life to see if anyone validates us by posting something on a social media site? 

My heart hurts to know these kids are walking alone. 
Real friendship can only happen when we know someone at the core level of humanity, and then reciprocate that notion as they begin to know us. 

In fact, the fundamental emotion we all long for is Joy through relationships! (thanks for sharing this with me Bob.)

Isn't it interested that there are so many verses in the Bible that talk about Joy?  "Rejoice, Rejoice, and again I say Rejoice" Paul cries in Philippians 4:4.  It's no accident God has given us this desire to feel wanted and accepted by others. It's no accident the fundamental way we feel joy is when we are connected to other people. 

"It is good that man should not dwell alone." (Gen. 2:18) God says.  GOD SAYS!!  Adam wasn't alone in the garden.  He had God.  He walked with God.  He talked with God.  He probably had those coveted conversations we all long for about pre-destination, why He made the Universe, and what in the world was He thinking when He made ticks.  But it wasn't enough!  God said it wasn't enough.  We need other people in our life!!

When we have the chance to enjoy the company of someone else our souls are awakened.  We find fundamental needs when we share the company of someone we trust, someone we know desires to be with us, someone who 'gets' us. 

Unfortunately, there are millions of high school and college students looking for someone to reach out and provide a connection of joy, togetherness, and friendship. 

When are we going to stop being a culture focused on primarily producing stuff, and realize no one really cares.  No one goes to their death beds wishing they made more widgets while they were alive!  No one looks at the end of their life and think, "If I just sold a few more cars"  or "If I just would have kept my Apple stock when it was at $14" (real story) 

No, we all just want to know there's someone out there that loves us and cherishes us for no other reason than we are the way God made us. 

I'm so thankful, especially in the last few days, I have friends around the country calling to express their desire to just connect and know each other.  It's been a great reason to validate the work we're doing at KIVU and the subsequent work we're doing with The KIVU Gap Year. 

Will you connect with someone who feels lonely today? 


  1. Thank you for this post- As an adoptive Mom, a homeschooling mom and a mom of SEVERAL pre-teens, I am feeling the same way. We have got to find ways to offer real relatinships to kids. Our oldest kids hope to join you on their gap year- several years from now. Until then, no facebook, limited texting and more trips to Africa.

  2. Wonderful post! And, so very true. Peer pressure is a horrible thing sometimes. When you have all the kids that your child goes to school with on facebook, it makes a parent’s job challenging, to say the least!

  3. Married and mother of three sons ages 17-24. They have all gone through what you are describing. And I find it a challenge to compete with digital media as a human face to face.

  4. I am a therapist, so I see this a lot. I think one of the greatest fears of man is to be “invisible” to others. I once wrote a post about this concept.
    It’s vital to reach out to the lonely, but it’s even more vital to recognize if we are the lonely ones, and learn to reach out to others…that’s a humbling thing to do, but in that humility we’ll find our freedom.
    Thanks for your thoughts!!

  5. I enjoyed the article. At my church leadership meeting a few weeks ago, we spoke about what is called “crowded lonliness.” In this generation, we can have 400 friends on facebook and have no meaningful relationships. It’s such a shame. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Lots of great comments. It’s interesting how many people agree, and then the latest, Ron, you seem to have some other ideas. Here at AndyBraner.com we welcome differing ideas. Please share your POV.

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