Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Communication in The Techno-age

In this techno-age when all you have to do is pull a cell-phone out of your pocket, whip off an e-mail, or hop into your vehicle to pay a visit, why is it that we talk less and less to each other?

Back in the “old days,” before people began going around in cars, it would be the typical thing for people to head out for a Sunday drive with the horse and buggy to go visit some neighbors or relatives. With the work for the week being done, they would spend hours sitting on the front porch talking, laughing, and telling stories while the kids would play. Evening would come, and with it, chore time, so the family would gather back into the buggy for the ride back home. These weekly excursions were a treasured time, a memory not soon forgotten.

And much transpired during those times. Binding a family together, those old stories were told and retold, sometimes losing their shape, but always getting more interesting. The kids learned about how Grandpa was out hunting and his friend accidentally shot his foot (hunter safety), or how Grandma thought that painting an ice-box white would turn it into a refrigerator (childish thinking can get you in trouble.) More than anything, they learned that their parents were kids at one time, making mistakes and learning about life, just like they were. Those wonderful times of communication were a way of transferring values, beliefs, and philosophies about life.

But times have changed. Though we have become a faster, sleeker society, with tools for communication all around us, we rarely develop those close relationships which breed wonderful memories. Not even with those of our own household! Though we have so many useful appliances to help us get our work done faster, we no longer have those blocks of time of several hours to just sit around and enjoy being with someone. Something is missing in our relationships. Is it really that we have very little time, or is it simply a matter of focus?

What a wonderful thing it is to know that you are known, and better yet, to know that you are also loved, even though you are known. That’s what friendships are! But, oh, it is so much better to have those blessed friendships with those of your own family! Not only do we share the same genes, the same family history, and the same background, but we also share the same home, and I can be with them all the time! It is the hunger to develop those close relationships among family members that will drive you to take the time necessary.

With all the techno-inventions screaming for our attention, it would be highly difficult to turn from them and take time to be with the family. But that is what we must do, if we are to build close relationships! So, take the time – turn off the tube, walk away from the computer, and leave your cell phone at home. Go to some quiet place with your family, look them in the eyes, and begin the blessed journey of communication. Talk, laugh, tell jokes! And most of all, love them, and tell them so.

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