Go back even just two years ago and consider the methods and modes of communication you were involved in. How many ways could someone connect with you? You probably had an email, probably a cell phone, maybe a land line. Many of you who are younger were texting already, and some used chat to IM.
The natural tendency is that the things that those early adopters accept, like texting or Facebook eventually filter down to the rest of who are a little slower on the uptake. But as I sit here on my Thursday morning typing on my iPad. I have used my phone to talk with people today. I have emailed. I have texted today. I have responded to a message on Facebook. I have not chatted with anybody today . . . Yet.
But just balancing the methods of communication in my life can be a challenge. I realize that this is self imposed. I have invited forms of communication into my life with little consideration of the ramifications for my family life. And little did I know that what starts as convenience soon grows into expectations. If you never chat, nobody ever expects you to chat. If you don’t text, nobody will text you. If you don’t check your messages on Facebook . . . You get the point.
All this is to point out an amazing point from the book, “The Next Story” by Tim Challies. We do a poor job predicting the impact of our technology on our daily lives. Those things we think will make life easier more often than not become things that consume huge chunks of time. And if we are not careful, they can eventually drive us away from the things we thought they would give us more time to do in the first place . . . Like spending more time with the family, being more efficient in our work, or developing better relationships with people.
I don’t have a clue what the next big thing is going to be in communication, but I for one, am maxed out. If we add another way to get ahold of Don Filcek, there is going to be some people wondering why I am no longer responding to Facebook, or texts or something.
Connecting with people is not the same as relating with people. I realize I run the risk of sounding inaccessible by this blog, but this is quite the opposite. I am very accessible, but in wrestling through Challies book I am convicted that I have not been very intentional in critically thinking through the way that technology interfaces,with my life and relationships.
It is hard to reverse open channels of communications. Can you imagine how rude it would seem if you stopped answering your cell phone? But my goal is to be more critical about adopting new methods of communication in the future. But for now . . . I need to respond to a text . . .