Created to Connect
by Mike Hasler
We used to know how to connect with other human beings: we talked to them. Doing so allowed us to look at real faces, in glistening HD, hear voices express souls, train mouths to build full sentences and let our facial muscles complete the tasks now assigned to emoticons. We used the speaker portion of the phone more than its onscreen keyboard and took full advantage of everybody’s perfectly designed User Interface.
But then they created the Internet and everything that brings us together became possible to do from isolation. By the lonely light of LCD we follow and sometimes envy the lives of people we don’t really know. We know who’s single and who’s complicated, who’s tropically out of the country and what’s for dinner, and we’ve become adept at typing profound statements like “Love it!” “Jealous!” and “Too cute!”
The most important technological advancement since the personal computer brings the freedom to impress people you’ll never talk to, argue and slander without inhibition or consequence, and you can look busy and important on your device while the person in Starbucks you wish you had the courage to talk to texts their friend to say they hope you eventually come over and talk to them. The Internet Way of Life allows us to cultivate a feeling of community without showing up to anything, and a few dedicated clicks can get us an education in life’s most important things, like who’s a couple this week on “Bachelor in Paradise” and who hooked up behind the scenes.
But what about the true way of life?
If we don’t know the One who created us, then the only ones to help us through this life are our friends, and thankfully, we have hundreds of those on Facebook. But is social media the way we were created to connect, keeping life superficial from a safe distance, debating bland topics, ignoring cryptic cries for human contact, disguising narcissism as information and bragging as updates? Were our deep philosophies supposed to come through cartoon drawings of 1950’s housewives and Brylcreem businessmen? And if social media is truly fulfilling, why aren’t we all still on MySpace? Why feel the need to move on to Facebook, then Twitter, then Instagram (then whatever’s coming next) if the simple act of communicating with another human being is all we’re looking for? Why should the medium matter?
Because some mediums were created better than others, and some messages are far more important.
We’ve heard there’s a place that features both, a satisfying method of doing life together, a group where you can express yourself in real time plus learn about others and the One who made you, all with instant updates and no typing. We believe that in this place you can live out your design for deep relationships and live communication, build mutual edification, be vulnerable, learn the value of give and take and absorb the notion that although life is about you, it’s not all about you. We know this place exists, and we know it requires no passwords or pop ups, just people. To log in, all you have to do is walk through someone’s door.
The Community Groups of Village Church. Make the world small again.