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FaceBook Song - Rhett & Link
“Too much of a good thing”
Recently in a conversation with a good friend and colleague the topic of “social networking” came up; you know the typical Face Book, My space, Twitter and Google+ and for the professionals, LinkedIn.
In the process of the conversation, my friend was amazed to find out that this writer not only had one but several of these social networking sites. As the conversation concluded and we both got ready to go our separate ways, he turned and jokingly said, “Hey, got life”? It was a light hearted attempt to play off of the much over played “Got milk?’ commercial. The intent however, was clear, he was implying that I no longer had a life.
Everyone who has read any number of my articles on line in the past knows well my position that I do believe Internet and Social Networking friends are wonderful and can be real and genuine friends. As such, no offense is meant nor should be taken here at this writer’s response to my friend’s implication that social networking diminished or disintegrated my life.
In pondering my friend’s statement however, it occurred to me that much of the time formerly spent in reading, writing, tinkering with the car and keeping it in good shape, building or repairing computers, just listening to music, playing my guitar or the occasional fishing trip had been vastly reduced or even banished from my life.
The memories of life without the internet, the web, social networking and smart phones became more appealing with each and every thought. Then suddenly it occurred to me that even my generation known as the “baby boomers” full of free thinking and expression had become too caught up in technology.
In my alternate career as an insurance adjuster which was supposed to have been vastly improved with the use of computers, cell phones, blue tooth digital cameras and printers over 20 years ago, it became apparent that was not the case.
Instead of an eight or nine hour day, most adjusters (and especially field adjusters) today spend that much time in the field and then another two to four hours writing estimates, reports and posting photos on the web either at their office or from home. Also at issue and both annoyance and hindrance to the adjuster’s work is the constant request and often demand of a status from the field via the cell phone.
Twenty years ago, the cell phone was used rarely. The adjuster received his assignments during the day, went out to the field and usually checked in at mid day via a body shop phone or stopped by the office at the end of the day and picked up his messages.
No fewer assignments were completed and in many cases more were.
The same is true in the pastorate, counseling or even writing. An editor waiting till the end of the day or next morning was not a big deal nor was contacting the pastor or psychologist. If it was a real genuine emergency, the pastor or psychologist could be located.
Today, with all do respect to all my technologically dependent friends; as that old saying goes, “You can get too much of good thing”.
Make no mistake, this writer loves technology even to the point of building, repairing and upgrading computers, designing web and blog sites, loving every minute of my wide screen plasma television (and yes, they use more energy and have a shorter life span than an LCD or LED but the picture is far better) and down loading every app possible for my android phone.
The truth is, we have become way too dependent on technology. It might have enhanced our lives but the jury is still out as to whether or not technology has increased the quality of life.
Today every aspect of life is dependent on one form or another of technology. People have a party, they use Twitter, they want to develop friendships, they use Face Book, My Space or Google+ and if they want to develop a better business network, they use LinkedIn.
Even counseling or church is possible on line, this pastor/writer has even developed a Prayer Page on Face Book which allows prayer request to go out to thousands of people at one time via Twitter almost instantly.
So the question is “Got life?” or maybe more appropriately “Got a better life?” In this writer’s opinion life might have improved slightly but it is not necessarily better.
Regardless of your thought, the truth is that only Jesus brings real, genuine life. The apostle John reminds us that “In Him was life and that life was the light of men” John 1:4. Without Jesus, all the technology in the world won’t improve the quality of life.
©Copyright 2011 Dr. Lee W. Outlaw III
Jesus is Life by Steven Curtis Chapman
Additional Writing by Dr Lee Outlaw
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