Friday, May 29, 2009

Anti-socially social

On one hand our culture has become more communicative with the Internet and smart phones.

We have wireless phones, email, blogs, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter, texting, and more. You can basically piece together my Facebook status changes to get a feel for what's going on in my daily life. This is common for a great many people today. I have reconnected with friends from WAY back. I feel as though 20 years have been bridged in our relationship because of these mechanisms. As a pastor I enjoy interacting with church brethren through these social networking things also. I see it as part of modern shepherding. So, on one hand, people are communicating more now than ever.

On the other hand, as I sit here in Panera studying (and blogging...and taking cool Facebook "tests" like "How long would you survive a Zombie attack?"), I have watched many people come in with their gaze fixed upon a smart phone of some sort. Instead of looking around to see if they recognize anyone or in place of having a discussion with someone in line or saying more than five words to the person waiting on them, they keep their head down and text away or keep up on their Twitter account. A person who walks into Panera smart phoning or strolls down the aisles at Wal-mart feverishly typing something in to their Blackberry sends the very clear message- "Don't talk to me !". How ironic that much of what they are doing is communicating via one of the aforementioned social tools. While giving off the "don't bug me" vibe, they are probably texting someone or changing their Facebook status.

Being anti-social while being social. Only in the current age. So interesting.


Frontier Forest said...

These strange and probing anti-social thoughts brings back old, and not so good memories. As you said, years ago, walking into a “rest-a-rant” you would look around to see who was “cool!” If you knew them, you might mosey up next to them and be seen saying HI! If you were really cool you could sit down and have a brew and laugh so you could be seen and heard. The louder you got, it seems the better time you were having, therefore, the cooler you became.
You know, come to think of it, those fakey/vain games not only don’t appeal, they seem downright stupid! Maybe this new high tech generation has it right? So maybe I better learn to text?

Michael Lockridge said...

It is still social, but the whole text/tech thing gives you some control. You don't get stuck on the phone with text, you just text and move on. You don't get stuck on the phone with email, and you can do your email when it works for you.

You can't delete bores when face-to-face, but you can pretty much ignore them on Facebook without offending them. You cannot as easily be dominated by conversational steamrollers in the virtual realm.

Then again I didn't have to deal with smileys or pokes or empty virtual hugs in real life.

The new way suits me better. I am good with the anti-socially social. It's pretty much what I have always been, but now I have the tools to be me even better.

Read my blog. I just wrote about what I had for lunch. You will be fascinated. ;)


Rick Calohan said...

Tony, I must say that your blog via the Holy Spirit was what drew me to Redeemer. While I have a webpage and a quasi blog via Friendster, and know how to send text messages and IM and all those millions and billions of things, I guess I have reached the age or point in my life that beyond these inane comments of mine on your blog I have pretty much withdrawn and did not go down I-Phone, Blackberry, Twitter Road. The positives at best are this is a way to some degree to get a pulse of your readership and your flock, a place we brethren can vent on any given issue. The negatives is how time consuming it can be and can at times take you away from the very chief end we are to do and that is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!