This week I'm reflecting more and more on the KIVU Family and the Phenomenon that has been created here over the last 10 years as it relates to the current state of relationships over the internet.
When I first began writing about the technology friendship craze I got blasted with, "Well, what's so wrong with Skype? I get to see my friends and interact better than I would without it. So, what's your beef with technology."
Look, I don't have any beef with facebook, twitter, skype, facetime, or any other form of connection in our world today. It think the world continues to shrink with the availability of conversations to happen in an instant from long distances. But can you imagine building your whole friendship over skype?
Some students are doing just that.
Or what if you build your whole self confidence around the various comments to a blog or how many people re-tweet your 140 characters. I'm just telling you, it's not the same.
You can't truly live life across a fiber optic line. It's IMPOSSIBLE!
Sure you can connect and catch up, which is super cool. But if you really want to find joy in the relationships you have, if you really want to BE HUMAN, you've got to take some time and turn off all the techno gadgets for a while, and focus on what it means to re-act to one another.
***ooops, what a second, I'm getting a call on Facetime from my friends in Nashville. be back in a second***
See, that wasn't so hard. 30 minute meeting, and back to real life.
Last week, I went to that KIVU wedding. Remember me telling you about the KIVU family?
Well, I drove up to the wedding.
Opened the door.
Phone in my hand.
When all of the sudden I thought, "I'm not going to need to facebook or twitter during this wedding."
I decided to leave my phone in the car, and just be available for whatever conversations might take place. And guess what?
I didn't stop talking all night.
I saw people I hadn't seen in YEARS.
Would that have happened if I was constantly looking for a text from someone?
Would I have been free to focus on the conversations at hand if I was always answering the twitter or facebook messages I get?
What if someone called in facetime? It would have been a great time to catch up?
But being human, at least today, requires that we take a risk with people.
One of my teenage kids told me, "I don't want to answer my phone if it's someone I don't like. I just block them off my facebook."
You know why he does that?
He doesn't want to deal with the possibility he might have to deal with rejection.
He doesn't want to have to risk the possibility of getting into a tough conversation.
He wants to live life the way HE WANTS to.
And that's just not dynamic human.
You want to be human today? Put the phone away, and just look around you.
Celebrate when your friends find joy.
Mourn when they feel pain.
Exercise the ability to focus on the person you're talking with, without checking your blackberry, iPhone, or Droid.
To be human…
It's a beautiful thing.