Published in Church and Life (1831) 1.3.2012 – 21.3.2012 No 5.
As if we did not have enough to worry about in our marriages, a new destructive force has emerged.
It is the social media which is the new culprit. It is a bad one at that; it is now showing up a major issue in the breakup of marriage. We are talking about emails, Google, YouTube, texting, Facebook, Twitter and the rest of it. When I first heard this I found it hard to believe, but then when you look at it, it is very real. Imagine, someone playing with their iPhone all evening instead of sharing time with their spouse. Consider the stuff people put on their Facebook pages, a quick email without consideration, which can cause harm and can never be called back. Computers make it so easy to spy on people. Computers can also bring the office work home. People become addicts of Facebook, emails and texting. Then there are the lurking predators that target people, especially the young. Computers can bring gambling into the home. You can see the huge potential for a dysfunctional life and marriage.
Texting someone is not the same as talking to them face to face! Even though people now have the possibility to communicate more than they ever did before, it seems that we have never seen more isolated or lonely people. Technology is taking over our lives but a computer or a phone is not something with which to have a relationship.
The social media of course is not all evil or bad. It can be used to advantage when we use it well. We must be the masters of the media not the other way around.
It is so easy to tell the whole world about your bad mood, your latest conflicts or even latest love. When you are married that might be a good idea.
Granted the social media is a new phenomenon and we could be making learning mistakes. I certainly hope that future generations will be smarter with the way they use it because we know that we are only at the beginning of this new revolution. Who knows what new inventions will be created in the near future. It might be rather hard to live a balanced human life as technology continues to expose us and our private lives. Parents have a new responsibility to educate their children about life as it is in this century.
Now better than even before we must have a solid Christian base for our behaviour. When we live Christ’s life it does not matter how the new media shows it to the world. But if we are not Christ centred, have no faith, we will continue to live in a godless manner and as a result become a very interesting sideshow for everyone in cyberspace who cares to look in.
The more complicated and technological the world gets, the more we must return to our old fashioned Christian and community values that we were taught when we first sat on our mother’s knee.