How texting and facebooking are running amuck

I was sitting in a restaurant the other day watching a couple, probably ten years younger than I, at a table near me. They were both completely engrossed in their smart phones, presumably surfing the net although I can’t be sure as I’m not that nosy that I would look at their screens to confirm my suspicions. (plus they were too far away to see even I had wanted to, not that I did) It was so strange to observe how they barely spoke to one another during the whole meal. Sad really. Now maybe they were studying, or had some urgent reason they needed to be on their phones- seems unlikely, but I suppose it’s possible. But it just reminded me of how completely disconnected and fragmented we are becoming on the whole. I love the internet, texting and movies as much as the next gal- but it seems that anything good left unchecked just runs rampant.

the laptop I do all my facebooking from

I have, ever since my kids got cell phones, had various rules that “no one else’s parents have” such as cell phones charge over night in the kitchen and get turned in before you go to bed. Or no texting during dinner. Or no texting while we are all engaged in some family activity, like a game night or movie. And of course, NO TEXTING WHILE DRIVING, which I have to remind and enforce upon myself as well. So these are general restrictions about using the phone, but I am beginning to see we all need to have some other standards as well if our marriages and relationships are not going to be undone by technology. Here is my list so far- not complete by any means, but a start:

1. No texting about tense, painful or emotional topics. Face to face, or at the very least by phone, is necessary. Too much miscommunication and loss of tone, body language etc. if you can’t see or hear the person speaking to you.

2. No texting members of the opposite sex to “chat” or vent. Period. (If married)

3. No texting to scold, fuss at or otherwise correct ones children.

4. Unless it’s an emergency, no texting or taking a call while otherwise engaged in a relational activity such as- on a date with one’s spouse, in church, in the middle of a conversation with a friend, etc.

5. No using facebook to passive-agressively vent about other people. Again, face to face conversations are needed to deal with hurt and anger.

6. No re-connecting with past romantic relationships, “just to see what they’re up to” or any other reason. I cannot tell you how many marriages have been devastated by one partner finding an old flame on facebook or some other social media, and ending up in an affair.

7. When posting a status, ask yourself: is this sarcastic, complaining, bitter, passive aggressive, gossip, divisive or impure? If it is, get off facebook and go seek the lord about what is going on in your heart. The bible says “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” and very often our “innocent venting” is really a reflection of a heart that is not focused on Christ.

Ultimately every part of our lives as Christ followers is meant to bring honor and glory to Him. This is my attempt to bring glory to God in the way I use technology and not invite destruction into my life through foolishness. I’d love to hear your thoughts or decisions in these areas. 

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