Jesus said in the last days the love of most would grow cold (Mt 24:12). One could never know just how cold it could get. One contributor of this coldness is that our relationships are accelerated by our ever increasing digital relationships.
Instead of real connections, we are connecting mainly via texting, social media, email and more, even among our own families. These connections aren’t bad as they help us communicate more. But they are bad when they replace our togetherness. And when we are together they become are our distraction. We don’t know how to have a meal together at a restaurant without checking our phones every few minutes.
But the real problem is that digital relationships lend themselves to hurtful speech. One can be cruel on the internet without consequence. They never have to see the price of hurtful words.
Today I was feeling overwhelmed by the level of judgment over my life by those around me. It’s feels heavy at times. And when I stopped and took notice, I realized that almost every one of those sources of judgment have been made by people because the communication was digital. A few sentences on a text, blog or email and judgment was passed, mainly because there wasn’t personal knowledge of the entire picture. I believe if those I knew could know the entire picture, they would see things entirely different. But in digital relationships judgment is easy.
The news the other night had a special episode in which it said that the average person has not made a new friend in the last 5 years. Not just a digital friend but an in-person friend.
This problem of digital relationships is only going to grow. We are more and more working at home, communicating digitally, and disconnecting personally. Many of our relationships have the privilege of being able to be long-distance, which is also a tragedy.
It’s something we are not going to change. But we must fight to overcome this increasing winter.
“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
- It requires that we be more intentional about spending time together.
- It provokes us to the discipline of turning our phones off when we are together (harder than you think).
- It requires that we be careful in our judgments of one another in our digital communications and seek understanding in person. (Which is hard when an ever increasing number of our relationships are physically distant.
In the past we have had to work at these things. But now we must actually fight for these things. So it’s time to call up friends and invite them to go walking together. Or to go see an event together. Or whatever it is.
Because just like it is with money, if we don’t intentionally invest, we may just find ourselves relationally bankrupt.