Category Archives: Internet

Relationships and the Internet

CommunityLately I have been doing a lot of thinking about how the Internet and its related technologies/services impact our lives and most importantly our relationships.  I am (you can even ask my family/friends) a lover of computers and technology.  I enjoy learning, using and exploring technologies.

As I have had time to reflect on some of the technologies and how they have impacted my life and those around me I raise the question:  ARE ALL INTERNET SERVICES/TECHNOLOGIES BENEFICIAL TO SOCIETY, INDIVIDUALS, AND MORE RELATIONSHIPS?

As I have had time to reflect on some of the technologies and how they have impacted my life and those around me I raise the question:  ARE ALL INTERNET SERVICES/TECHNOLOGIES BENEFICIAL TO SOCIETY, INDIVIDUALS, AND MORE RELATIONSHIPS?

My Honest, heartfelt answer: NO!

Let me lay out some of my thoughts on the pros and cons and then explain my position.

Pros:

The Internet and its various services provide us with a way to quickly connect via email, IM, Twitter, Facebook and to know what is going on with others.  It provides a place to quickly and easily find information.  It provides for connection that may not be otherwise feasible due to distance, time zones, and finances.  They provide for networking with others who can help you with your current job or schooling and provide you with much needed information. An easy way to share information with people in your lives and the whole world.  Relationally it allows one to be instantly in touch with people, to provide information and contacts that would not be otherwise possible with just a piece of paper and the telephone.

Cons:

Alone

-Distracts from personal face to face interactions and relationship.

-Provides an easy emotional escape from the realities and frustrations that come with relationships

-Pornography, which is easily accessible and destroys relationships.

-Providing too much information and jeopardizing your own/families privacy and safety.

-Does not promote true community, but instead fosters isolation and a false sense of connection.

-Takes time away from family, friends and the relationships that should truly matter.

I think that as we evaluate our own use of the Internet and “Social Media” we need to be careful to make sure that our use does not start to impact our relationships in a negative way.  We all need to be able to appropriately interact with others in a face to face context and not just in “cyber space”.  Marriages, families, and work relationships cannot successfully exist without regular face to face interaction.

There is not set guidelines of what is appropriate across the board, but instead, each individual must evaluate their life situation and job and consider what would be the most appropriate plan for using technology.  Our decisions should be first and foremost based on our family and relationships with them and last of all should be based on our job or desire for recognition by others.  Life is not a popularity contest.  Our first and greatest commandment is found in Matthew 22: 37-3937Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

I hope my thoughts provoke each of you to revisit in your mind what is appropriate for you and your life when it comes to the Internet and Social Media.

~tfkr


Social Media

So I’m at an interesting point with Social Media, well as least with Twitter (guess that can be said as its the only one I can get at my main job).

I love being able to see ideas, questions, comments, and cool new innovative ways to do things by people around the world. The struggle I’m facing is, do I continue to embrace this “technology” or do I run from it? So many people have only 1 account that they use for both their ministry/industry as well as for their personal lives. Some people have taken the route of having two with one devoted to ministry or industry and the other for personal friends/followers.
I question if my time is well spent reading/following the people who post things about being unable to sleep, can’t find this or that, or other “personal” things that truly appeal to me, they may a points have things though that are very important or necessary for me to see. I don’t mind the occasional but I guess i’m also personally starting to revamp how I use things like Twitter. I started using it for both personal and work stuff, but now am revamping gradually ( it takes time, its an addiction) to use it just for work/ministry/things that make me grow.
So what do I do? Help!
What do you do when you want to see what a person has to saw, but really don’t want to filter through their personal life? Do you unfollow? What if its a person close to you that you need to know things from? What is the proper etiquette? Do people actually notice or care if you unfollow them? Should we all adopt a way of using Twitter? I know its designed for quick updates of whats going on in life, but have we gone to far? Is there certain way that I can find a way to easily filter on the web, pc and mac out the stuff I don’t care about?
I’m a computer nerd at heart and find it hard to figure out how to handle this. I’m afraid I might miss something I need to hear or know . I’m trying to figure out a personal motive and proper use of Twitter, ect. Sort of my own guidelines on how to use it.
I’ve backed off from Facebook a ton, and since I have limited access to things at my primary job its hard to manage what little information I do get.
Have we as a society gone too far?
What reasons are we using Twitter and similar services? Is it just to show off and lets others see how busy and important we are? How cool we are? Is it to boost our own frail ego’s? Or are we truly seeking to share knowledge and information and ideas? I honestly think there are people on both sides of the gamut. I hope that people realize I’m trying to share information and stuff. I have nothing to boast of. Honestly I know few people who truly care that deeply about my personal life to really be interested in my Twitter feed…. I do try to share some tips or techniques that I’ve found ministry/industry wise. I think we as users of technology have to be ware of the dangers of the technology. Not just dangers for us but others. I think it could potentially become a stalker/crime issue, people are basically being peeping toms into our lives, there is no bounds unless you secure your updates.
The Internet is truly blurring the public and private sectors of our lives. We need to make a decision as the user of where that line will stop. As a parent I have to make that decision as I need to protect my family.
Think about it…. Does everyone have to know what your doing at all times? where you are? Where I am at? Are we that stinking important? Think of this….. We the general public have no exact clue where the President is always at….. He’s a bit more important than we are….
Whats your thoughts? Comments? Questions? Ideas?

I know I’m being a bit extreme but I think its something we all need to serious think about….
~tfkr