June 6, 2018
Written By: Kay Torres
92% of 18-29 year olds own a smartphone, and it is estimated that we as ‘millennials’ check our phones over 80 times a day. Our technology usage has become habitual, an automatic behavior that we are no longer aware of. As I’ve written these two sentences I’ve already checked my phone three times. Anyone else guilty of scrolling through Instagram and minutes later realizing you didn’t consciously open Instagram? Given how much time we spend using technology, it is definitely plausible that it has affected our understanding of relationships. The way Christ has called us to be present and relational is constantly changing under the influence of technology.
As humans, we are called to create and technology is intended for good because it allows us to explore creativity in a way that generations before us never could. Technology has allowed this generation to push the boundaries to understand culture in ways we never did. It has given a voice to those who were silenced before the rise of social media – from social issues to funny memes we are constantly up-to-date through technology.
Technology also allows us to communicate like we never have before as we can now share experiences within seconds and grow relationships with people thousands of miles away. But, without balance, our use of technology can be extremely dangerous. Technology separates us from the people near us. The moment we take out our phones it disconnects us mentally from the people around us and we are mentally no longer engaged with us those close to us.
Just as we have created technology, we must be mindful that technology can also re-create us. Are we consciously removing ourselves from the present when we pick up our phones? Are we conscious that our presence matters? How do we live well in the midst of technology?
How is technology shaping your attitudes and behaviors? How does it affect the relationships around you?
The idea of presence is so unique to us as believers. John 1:14 reads “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory,” Christ became flesh to be present with us. It’s incredible to think that the King of all Kings became human flesh to be present with us. In this society of absence, we as believers are called to be fully present. Our capacity to be fully present is entirely correlated to our relationship with technology.
Our presence matters. Our presence affects the world, and this culture that we live in. In this world of absence, we must be conscious that Christ has called us to be present. Our generation is so desperate for presence but we continue to look for it all the wrong places.
Go outside. Take a walk. Talk to your family and friends. Find the beauty in being fully present with the people around you. We are called to be in personal relationships, to foster an environment through valuing the people God has placed in our lives. Instead of increasing your follower ratio, deepen those relationships. Engage with the people around you, and remember that your presence is a present.