The internet is such a cool tool. I can connect with people all over the world from my phone. We can skype, text, and IM, enjoying real time conversations about a million topics. It’s amazing and awesome and I love technology. Even though we can connect electronically, there’s nothing like connecting in real life (IRL), is there? My long-distance pals and I can’t give each other a big hug. I can’t see their face or read their body language in a text. Even tone is a challenge in email or IM, right? That’s why I find it so very important to make time to connect in real life with family and friends.
A quick search of the literature and the internet (ironic?!) brings up a ton of articles citing the connection between multi-media use, social media, Facebook, and feelings of anxiety, isolation, and depression. Moreover, research on health and longevity has found a link between connections within communities and living a longer, healthier life. Sign me up for that! All of our ability to virtually connect doesn’t fill our need to be really connected.
First, we need to connect to the true source of life – God. In our spiritual connection to God, through Jesus Christ, we will draw energy, inspiration, life. John 15 talks about Jesus being the vine and we (believers) are the branches. Ever separate a branch from a vine? What happens to the branch? That’s what happens to us when we are disconnected from the source of life.
Once we’ve established this connection to God, we have something to share with the world. We are filled and aren’t looking for others to fill us up – neither via the internet or IRL. Our relationships can be free, encouraging, life-sharing. We have something special to give and to receive – the love of Jesus. What a great gift!
I pray that you get connected, spiritually to our Father in Heaven, and to your friends, family and community!