When Technology Gets in the Way of Relationship

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On the one hand, all of our technology—cell phones, iPads, internet, twitter—makes it easier than ever to stay connected. But when does all this technology become too much of a good thing? When it hinders our relationships with people and with God.

We were made for relationship

God intended for us to reach out and love one another on a personal level. There is no substitute for a face-to-face visit or actually speaking on the phone to one another. Something is lost when we communicate solely through email, text message, ichats, and the like. 

Parenting

A case in point…Recently I was talking to a friend who is a dad. His son had just gone off to college and they no longer had the connection of living at home together. As my friend expressed, “In order to really know how my son is doing, I have to talk to him. I have to hear his voice to know how he is adjusting to college life.” Sending text messages is not the same, nuances, moods, the truth can be covered up or avoided. As parents we need to be assured of our child's all around well being; a good old-fashioned phone call is a good way to do that. We tried setting up phone appointments with our college kids ahead of time. This didn’t work so well. But a heads up text often led to the phone connection we desired. 

Friendship

The same holds true for friendship. Any healthy relationship requires knowing both parties are committed. A five-minute phone call can do wonders to catch up and let someone know you really care. And for that person who lives alone, especially an elderly parent, a phone call can be a vital link to the outside world. The extra effort made to actually make a phone call can make someone's day so much brighter.

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Putting God First

It can be very tempting to check our cell phones and computers before we spend a few moments with God. But our priorities need to be reassessed if technology and To Do lists call us away from prayer and time set aside for God. Once we’re off and running, we can get so caught up in all the demands of the day, we put everything else ahead of quality time to nurture our spiritual side. 

I know when I start my day with time for God, my day flows better and I see everything in a more positive light. There is a sense of peace knowing I have made the effort to place my life in God' s hands. He has the master plan and I have assurance that He will steer me in the right direction. This is truly a comfort for us all as God's children dearly loved and deeply cared for. 

Don’t Complicate Your Quiet Time

Especially if you’re a beginner when it comes to spending time alone with God. Keep it simple. I start my day with a daily devotions booklet Living Faith. It’s offered free at our church and includes three months worth of reading, plus a morning and evening prayer appropriate for the season and according to the church calendar. I also take advantage of the time I spend walking my dog and practicing yoga at home by making these times of prayer and meditation, uninterrupted by technology.

So stop the texting, turn off the computer, and spend some time reaching out and connecting to others and God in real time. The rewards will be awesome!


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Ellen Twill is a teacher of mostly younger children. Her hobbies include yoga, walking, reading, cooking, and gardening. Ellen is married to George who is the owner of a family printing business. They have two sons, George is 24 years old and Kevin is 21 years old. Their family home has been in Mendham, NJ, where they’ve lived for 18 years. For the past 6 1/2 years, the Twills have a newer female family member. Her name is Kiley and she is the best dog ever…a schnoodle which means part schnauzer and part mini poodle. 

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