Cell Phones and the Fight for Presence

Hey all, I heard about this story today, and thought it was something people should see… especially parents. Take a look: 

Texting Gets Out of Hand…

I text. There’s no slamming texting going on here. But as many of you know, youth and parents in particular, I have issues with cell phones at times. I always banned them on youth trips and in the youth room, despite the complaints and disagreements from teens and parents alike. “What’s the problem with texting, Erica?” you ask. Well, the problem is while you’re texting, you’re not present ANYWHERE. It’s completely virtual. You send a text, you’re ignoring the people you’re with – your mind is with people who aren’t with you. But you’re not physically with the person you’re texting, either. You aren’t anywhere. And the more you get into that habit, relying on texting and instant messaging, the less likely you are to be present when real situations “present” themselves.

I can’t tell you how important real community can be. You need real friends, real conversations, real experiences. Instant communication that occurs without face-to-face conversation can turn your filters off, and you may find yourself saying things less and less likely to be said in person. Hence the trends of “sexting.” These things aren’t new, but they are becoming more and more of a problem.

I really feel for the girl in the story. How lonely her life must be to spend so much time texting. How disconnected she must be from everyone around her. Her fingers can be texting a million miles per hours, but where is the human contact and comfort that she should be receiving? The article said that her average texting is equivalent to one text every 2 minutes for every hour of the day. Where’s her family time? It said she was sitting at her birthday party texting her friend sitting next to her while all the other girls were doing karaoke. What kind of presence is that?

I challenge any of you out there reading… if you are feeling a bit uncomfortable reading this, thinking things like “I text quite a bit myself” or “I’m always on the phone” or “I am so addicted to the internet/Facebook/MySpace/AIM/email” or “I spend all my time doing online gaming” or anything like that, commit yourself to taking 2 weeks off. Or start limiting yourself to a few minutes/texts/games a day for several weeks. See what God can do with that extra time. See what REAL relationships can grow. See how your life might change. Who knows? Maybe you’re due to be present. Maybe that’s just what someone needs from you right now.


~ by Erica Ares on February 24, 2009.

One Response to “Cell Phones and the Fight for Presence”

  1. First blog I read after wakeup from sleep today!

    Are you tension? panic?

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