To be able to enjoy hands free convenience when using my cell phone, I bought a Bluetooth earpiece. This earpiece had voice command capabilities and I could ask it questions. One of the questions I asked most often was “Am I connected?” A woman’s voice would reply “Phone One connected.” I bought a new phone last year and got rid of that earpiece, but I still think about that question “Am I connected?”. Can that question apply to things other than a cell phone? What does being connected look like?
I like to support community events, and I just happened to have the day off, so I went to the National Day of Prayer Breakfast at the YMCA. Jordan Rimmer, Pastor of Northminster Presbyterian Church in New Castle, PA. was the keynote speaker for the event. Jordan is a talented writer and blogger and chose to speak about the relevance of the Church in today’s culture and how the church is not relating to or connecting with that culture. Jordan said, “We are more connected now than we have ever been before, and we are more disconnected now than we have ever been before.” Talk about a lightning strike! “That’s it!” I thought. “We’re connectedly disconnected.” Wait. What?
We used to go to public places called libraries to find things called books, so we could look-up and learn information about whatever it was we were trying to figure out. Those books were, for the most part considered “authoritative”; of acknowledged accuracy or excellence; highly reliable. We usually had to engage in face-to-face interaction with other humans during this library experience. Furthermore, if additional, practical explanation of this newly obtained knowledge was required, we would need to personally interact with another human who could explain and even physically demonstrate the application of the knowledge if necessary. Sometimes these human interactions resulted in physical contact in the form of handshakes or hugs as an expression of appreciation for the assistance.
Fast forward to 2018. We can now access virtual, non-verifiable information from virtually every point on the planet, or at least we think it’s coming from somewhere – it’s from the “cloud”. We so prefer or are so addicted to the virtual world of the digital devices in our hands, we often neglect interacting with the basic realities surrounding us; realities like friends, family, emergency vehicles in our rear-view mirrors, meteors crashing down upon us from outer space. Snubbing reality has even been given its own word. Phubbing is a word created in Australia in 2017 by team of advertising executives and dictionary publishers. They were looking for a word for the rude habit of snubbing someone while choosing to pay attention to a cell phone instead. They combined “phone” and “snubbing” to get “phubbing”.
Have you been phubbed? Are you guilty of phubbing? I’m a phubber. Is it time to come back to reality? Maybe I should let my cell phone battery run out, then ask myself some realistic questions. Am I connected to my God? Am I connected to my family? Am I connected to my friends? Am I connected to my community? Am I connected to myself? With out being able to email anyone or do an Internet search, I’ll be forced to grab my Bible, a note pad and a pencil and go find out in person if I’m still connected.
© 2018 Curt Savage Media curtsavagemedia.com