You might have seen the famous scene from the movie, Napoleon Dynamite, where Kip sings adoringly to his bride the line, “I love technology, but not as much as you, you see. But, I still love technology. Always and forever….” I always laugh when I hear Kip’s heartfelt song, and sometimes I chuckle as I see how we all adore our technology and especially our social media. Oh, and I’ve read the tons of blogs, articles, memes, and FB rants about all the negative things surrounding this pertinent piece of our generation. So I decided to add a blog on the topic, but I’ve gotta confess my reasons that I love technology (but not as much as you, you see)!
1) It’s oh-so entertaining. Like, my brain explodes some days when I get my social-media time-on after a long day and posts of majorly serious political posts are right above my friends rant (and pics) about her child’s potty-training accident, anddd that’s above the 412 cutest kittens of 2015, which is right above another friends gossip post regarding her cousins’ sister’s bad haircut due to an argument over who made the best gumbo, which is followed by images of hair styles that are similar to Rizzo from Grease. If I haven’t had a reason to smile yet, BAM… thankyou social media! I love you guys! You remind me that life is never dull!
2) It reveals our inner self sometimes, and gives us a chance to see someone else’s inner self. Vulnerability is a pathway to connection and growth in love. There is no replacement for face-to-face ever, I think. However, we do have such a difficult time showing the real “me” when we look each other in the eyes. While we need to continue to work on being brave to share our real selves with one another, social media provides opportunity to make some healthy exchanges for growth. It is a place to see maybe some different sides of folks that might indicate needs, prejudices, hurts and others pieces of their life that can spark new, relevant conversation, encourage a broader perspective, and educate one another on a different angle of things within our own culture and mentalities accrued. Ok, ok… you’ve got me. I hear your thoughts. 😉 Yep, I’ve definitely seen things that caused me to feel like maybe I would throw my phone away, go off the grid, live in the mountains, and cook elk over a campfire. (Or, at the least delete some of my social media apps. Ha.) But, then I have a little Joani-Heartcheck. Don’t I have the desire to be heard, understood, and have the ability to express myself with your respect for my beliefs? Also, could we give each other the opportunity to grow in love as we challenge one another with healthy dialogue? Maybe I don’t know, what I don’t know. Let me gain some fresh perspective through your eyes. When we share things, we are essentially sharing “us”… Let’s keep that in mind.
3) It gives me a chance to connect with those who otherwise I’m not able to right now. I have precious loved ones in numerous places around the globe. The strokes on a keyboard chatting, talking over Facetime/Skype video, or viewing the FB/Twitter/Instagram posts that keep up with their interests will never replace sharing a sunset on the beach together. However, it keeps us connected in a way that I don’t have to wait years to see their smiling faces. I often think of how grateful I am, especially as I think of reverting back to days of old with ships and horse and buggies that might only prove for one to communicate with loved ones after years of separation.
4) It exposes, actually, how much we long for a sense of community and to be together. One of the slogans researchers have dubbed for this millennial generation is, “There is no me, without we.” We were made to help each other in this journey, we were created to walk together, and grow in love. We think sometimes that this generation is showing signs of detaching, but maybe we actually are making more visible that we deeply long for connection more than ever. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly do not think a FB post should ever take the place of a good conversation over a cup of coffee (gotta have my coffee time)… But, what I am saying is that social media does allow for another place to connect, and an opportunity for us to realize the common desire in all of us (even the most extreme introverts) for community. It is another way to reach out when we are lonely, a place to possibly be encouraged when we most need it, to be challenged for growth, and a place where we can share life together in a small way.
Tis true, technology, like all good things should have its proper place and space in our lives. I should be careful if reading too many online quickie blogs and articles engulfs my time taking away from the love and enjoyment I have for reading a book, or if I allow FB to rob from my time of joining in a fun game with the kids, maybe if I fail to look up from the screen to see the gift of a sunset, or when I miss out on a chat with my mom for a recipe because I google it instead. 😉
But, I still love technology…
So, if you get the chance, check out the movie Napoleon Dynamite, and you can thank (or delete) me later.