The Life of Isolation in the Social Media Environment

We are living in a new world now and more than one device are taking control of our time and attention. As technology improved, machines are replacing people fast, and automation is replacing human interaction. As we comprehend the progress in our society made in the past 25 years, we can see some prominent changes. Street vendors gave way to vending machines; fresh milk deliveries gave way to dairy products preserved in refrigerators; bank cashiers gave way to ATMs etc. etc.

Our smartphones are, itappears, sometimes, portable shields or cover that we hold in public in order to deter human contact and interaction. For example, when we step into an occupied elevator, we have the tendency to grab our phones like security blankets. I see this everyday when I get into the elevator. When we see a person with a conspicuous white Apple earbudin his or her ears, it means that this person possibly is disinterested direct interaction with anyone around or is musically inclined. They just do not want us to invade their space. If you see someone with a Bluetooth WIFI earpiecethat looks like a cockroach in a single ear, that conveys a slightly different, but more aggressive message: “far too busy, top dog, or don’t dare disturb”. They sometimes forget that they are disturbing others with their loud conversation and body language. Therefore I mentioned that the smartphonesare causing a social reversal: a desire to be alone in public and but never alone in seclusion.

Theologian Peter Leitheart adds this spiritual interpretation: “Humans connect to other humans at so basic a level that when we disconnect, our souls shatter into a thousand little pieces.”Do you think that social media profile of a person is authentic? Social media mostly profile is an edited one. The public profile of a person can be substantially different from the reality. The Social media is one best way to hide behind the fake profile. There are millions of cases around the world about those who were cheated or victimized by the fake identities and impersonations in the social media.

Is this what God wants us to be? We must reflect the “authentic being” God put in each of us. To the people who God brings in front of us, we must be real too. We must tell the truth. We must be honest at school. We must be wise with our money. We must be trusted friends. We must be reliable at work. The world needs what we must be: God-centered, joyful, and trustworthy teenagers, men and women.

St. Paul says,“I urge you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.”Let us be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind that He will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?We are not flawless; we are fallen repenting people who require engaging relationship to grow and mature. We are authentic believers who are committed to replacing easy relationships with authentic ones. We all are sinners.

Wherever we live, Christians are called to engage the world face to face—a key point for us all, especially parents, to keep in mind. We meet more and more kids who don’t know how to talk to people, and who don’t even want to look up from their screens. Francis Chan, Author of Dads and Family Leadership says “We are raising soldiers. We are raising missionaries. Our job is to get these kids to where they can get into the world and start conversations with people and bring the light of Jesus and the message of the gospel to them.” Eye-to-eye authenticity is the key to empathy, humility, and trust in our relationships, and these are skills we all need. As Christians we are called to be true to ourselves. If reflect Christ in our daily lives, we will certainly be authentic in every sense.

Young and old are robbed of precious time that should belong to leading a purposeful life – spending time in prayer; faithful discharge of our daily duties: serving others; helping our fellow men; and many others. With all the technological advancements, are we happy today than 10 years ago? In an interesting study published in the Wall Street Journal on March 18th, 2019indicates that the millennials are more stressed today than older groups when they were at that age. We know everything about anyone and anything about everything instantaneously. Small minority have the discipline to set boundaries and manage the social median engagement to be effective in their daily lives and enrich their experience including in the spiritual realm. But many are distracted, and are unaware of, the boundaries of social media or lack courage and discipline to manage the social media access to enhance their personal, business and spiritual experiences. They become lost, frustrated, confused and, ultimately, super-stressed.

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