August 20, 2008

Face Time

*I wrote this yesterday and forgot to post it!

Last night my best friend Christi and I caught up over coffee. Even though we live maybe five minutes away from each other, we've had a hard time connecting lately. Life has interfered.
As Christi and I have gotten older our day-to-day lives have definitely become separate. It takes an effort to keep in touch. But it is worth it. I've said before, she knows me better than anyone...and what's crazy is the fact that she still loves me! And I love her. I can be honest and open and completely real with her and feel safe and comfortable--and I believe it's mutual. Perhaps it's not always been that way. We're not who we were when we met at 14, but we've grown and changed together, and our friendship is strong and genuine.
Last night we got into some good conversations. One in particular was about our generation and what the internet has done to us. We were reflecting on times that we've run into old acquaintances, and how, when they've told us about their lives, we've already known everything they told us because...we read about it on Facebook.
In response I told her how our pastor preached through a passage in Proverbs about wisdom; one of his points was how the company we keep reflects wisdom (or lackthereof). He joked: Who's on your facebook page?

But I thought about that joke later. Seriously. What can people tell about me from my Facebook page?

Christi said that after realizing exactly how much she knew about these people she didn't have a relationship with, she was a little disturbed. People have been saying it for years, but it's true: technology has really changed the relationships in our lives!

I don't think facebook is inherently bad. I love facebook! But I also don't want to have friends on facebook for the sake of having friends on facebook. It's so pointless and impersonal and makes me feel shallow.

Technology has opened wide the doors of communication. We are always connected. Thanks to the internet I can email back and forth with my parents overseas and read my dad's blog and see pictures of friends and relatives at the tips of my fingers. But I don't want to lose completely the value of face time. I think we could all use a little techno-fasting and immerse ourselves in silence. Are we afraid of silence? Sometimes I feel like I am.

But just think...
Wouldn't it be nice to sit down with a friend over coffee or go for a walk and not be interrupted by some alternate conversation over text or a phone call? Or be sitting at dinner and not have to be a part of someone else's cell phone conversation? I'm guilty of doing this to people!
My dad has always been very conscious of cell phone etiquette (though I haven't met many other people who are even think twice about when and where they use their cell phone).

Just some thoughts.

My friend Courtney and I have often said we think we'd fit right in a Jane Austen novel. Why? Because we love to take long walks and talk. I've always noticed that many of the best conversations in Jane Austen novels and movies happen on walks and in letters.
One thing I love about being in Europe is all the walking. The way their cities and towns are designed and their transportation systems give opportunity for plenty of walking. Instead of buzzing along in the car with the radio blaring, people walk.

I love that!

I think I'm an old soul. Go for a walk!