Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another Long Ramble on Relationships & Technology

So I've been thinking lately, and having some conversations that tweak me and have pushed me into yet another blog post on relationships. It's a favorite topic it seems.

Modern technology is squishing the world together. More specifically our personal worlds. In theory, my theory, that is, it's forcing us to adapt to a new level of authenticity in our lives. Or perhaps it isn't a new level at all, but a return to a level of being human that we once possessed long ago. Or not that long ago. Or maybe I have a habit of making life so much more interesting than it really is by over indulging my emotions.


Where I was going with this is someplace I've been before on this blog, but I'm far to lazy to search for it and link it up for you. I figure I don't go back and read the old writing very often so I'd bet that you never do either. And that's just fine. My stuff is often tied right to the moment and if you've missed the moment, well, then, the blog post is simply me talking to myself. Again. I'm totally okay with that. I think I hold up a great conversation all by myself. It comes out of being a nervous talker and a wordy writer and it keeps the other grocery shoppers at a distance when you mumble through the aisles.

So on to where I was going. This technology laden world is forcing us into being a whole lot more honest. It's taking away our boxes and neat little life categories.

And I, for one, LOVE that.

It's one thing I groove on the most. I'm an intense relationship junkie. Now, I don't mean that in an icky stalker sort of way. I mean it like this. One of the times I'm happiest in life and feel most validated or valuable as a human being is when I'm deep into some part of a relationship that takes a turn toward the intense. Not necessarily a push over into the realm of crisis, that can be far too much, but just walking that line of the intense.

I guess I'd try to describe it as being akin to the feelings of falling in love, except that isn't it. It's a phenomenon I first experienced after becoming a Christian. Or at least in that general time frame of my life, so that puts it roughly around a decade ago. It is that sensation of diving into another person, knowing them deeply.

I know, very fluffy and new age-y. Get over it.

Anyway, how that loops in here is this. All these new social online network things are making the worlds collide. Awkward, yet positive.

Here's what I mean.

In the past we were all able to keep our worlds in boxes and on shelves and separated. For example who you were in high school really kind of stayed in the halls of the high school when you left. Who you are at work is not necessarily who you are at home and isn't who you are at church and isn't who you are at the bar and, well you have the idea.

The thing is these social sites like Face Book and My Space are putting a wrench in that. It really isn't possible to maintain separate spots for work and friends and church or whatever. Past and present intercede. They all collide. So then you need to decide. Will you try to maintain being different people for different groups and locations or will you be the same person all the time in all situations.

Now, as a Christian, that's the general idea anyway, but a lot of people miss that point along with a whole host of other important details about being Christian. That's a different blog post.

But, because of general technology, everyone is being forced, in a way, to be more authentic.

And I LOVE it.

I really do. I think it's a capital pet peeve of mine. People who are playing the games and wearing the masks. People who are so uncertain of themselves that they are feeling the need to be one person in one place and another in other places. Now I'm not saying that behavior is exactly the same in all places. It would be foolish to think you could behave the same in a bar as in a church, but overall, you should be the same person in both locations.

Make sense?

Probably not. I'll try again. At work you would not reveal your most personal details of life, but you would be generally the same person at the office as you would while being social with your friends or home with your family. So if you wouldn't cuss with your co-workers or your family, why would you do it with your pals? You can be an honest version of yourself in all setting without making every exchange seem like a therapy session or just plain giving out way too much information. Clearer?

I bet not.

This is it in a nutshell folks, we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us because of technology and we're stupid not to embrace it. It is an opportunity to build real relationships with people we wouldn't normally allow into our circles for whatever reasons we can come up with. Now, I'm not saying that suddenly everyone in your office should become your best friend or that your church friends will love hanging out with your office group, but, there is opportunity. Opportunity to embark on a new journey. A chance to engage in relationships with people that just otherwise would not fall into the friend category.

And that is a GREAT thing.

It's easy to see why from the getting stand point, right? You could potentially make a bunch of new friends that are really fun and beneficial for you personally. But can you see something else here? It is a great opportunity to stop selling yourself short. It's a chance for you to be of value to someone else. More likely than you know, you have some sort of skill or personality trait that would be a tremendous benefit or blessing to another person.

I think in a way I've lost my point on this yet again, in it's meanderings, but you get part of the idea at least. Technology is a very cool thing when we're putting it to use for a purpose. Use it to your advantage, and to everyone elses too. It's such a wide and broad topic. There are so many directions to go with it, but still, don't blow it off because it's big. Start thinking about it. Start playing with it.

Sure, you'll make some blunders. We all do as we learn the right and wrong ways to navigate this techno-friendship enhanced world, but blunder on my friends, for I am confident that the wins will far out-weigh the embarrassments.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Sometimes it's just fun to peek in someone else's windows and see that their life is just as crazy as yours.