As a homeschooler, I don’t go to public school every day and meet my friends face to face. In fact, a lot of my really good friends live out of state, and at least one of them lives out of country. Chatting and emailing are two of the quickest ways to keep in touch with them. Facebook and Google+ are fun ways to keep updated on what they are up to every day. Ok, I want some confessions from you all: How many of you actually call your friends (and I don’t mean a quick call to tell them that you’ll meet them next weekend to go shopping) to have nice, long friendly chats with them? Probably some of you do. But how about this one: How many of you still sit down and write personal letters (and I’m talking about with a pen and real paper, mailing it with the USPS) to your friends or relatives? I do still write an occasional “snail mail” letter, and I even fall back on the “old fashioned” phone call every now and then, but I’ll admit that all the social networks out there make it a whole lot faster to keep in touch with my distant (and close) friends.
Today’s psychological question is as follows:
How has social networking changed the way people meet their “need to belong”? How has it benefitted us? How is it harming us?
But the question remains as to whether these social networks are actually making us more social or less social…. Have you ever been so glued to your computer (iPod, phone, etc.) on some social connection that you haven’t noticed what was going on around you in your house (school, library, church?, etc.)? Come on, ‘fess up! It’s happened to me! Have you ever been so engrossed in communicating with the friends that are not with you that you have neglected to socialize with your family, the friends right around you, or (here’s the convicting one) perhaps even God?
I think it would be good for us all to sit back and analyze our priorities. Friends are definitely important! But are they more important that your family–your parents, brothers, and sisters? Would you rather text your friends than talk with your family? Would you rather play an online game with your friends than play with your siblings? Invest in your family, take time to socialize with them, and make them your best friends! And what about your heavenly Father? Can the hours fly by when you’re on Facebook (Google+, Twitter, etc.), and yet the minutes drag when you read your Bible? Do you find it easier to text or Skype your friends than pray to your Best Friend? I want to challenge us all (myself included, because I could probably answer “yes” to all these questions at some point or other) to decide who is most important to us. Who comes first? God should! What about second? Our family should. And lastly we shouldn’t forget our friends. But let’s not spend so much time socializing with them that we become unsociable to those who are most important to us!