No, this will not be a diatribe. At least not much of one.
The statement “we live in such a connected, electronics-dependent age” is not original to me, so I won’t repeat it here…except I just did. Oops.
It’s true, isn’t it? We get so used to being able to text, to check the news online, to email people, to see the weather forecast, to listen to music, that the minute we don’t have the connection to provide these services, we feel justified in getting downright angry – or at least to go to extremes to get that connection again.
My phone service is very poor. There are spots in our house where messages fail to send and phone calls are dropped. I have no signal in either of my places of work, even though my colleagues with other phone services get signal just fine. Normally I have to resort to moving to a window or standing on a chair to get a text to send. I’ve adapted, and my friends have gotten used to me randomly standing on chairs.
The internet connection at Undisclosed University is notoriously very, very bad. Signal will cut out for no reason. The only place I know where the connectivity is worse is a hotel in Croatia – which was understandable, since the town was in the middle of the boondocks in a rebuilding nation.
But today the campus network has been congested all day, only allowing certain sites through the filter. Guess which site couldn’t get through? Yup. Poor WordPress. Knowing how well campus network issues resolve themselves, I decided I’d have better luck blogging at the crowded local Starbucks than on campus. So here I am, sipping coffee, listening to some washed-up beatnik crooning to the accompaniment of a ukulele and bongos, and trying to write.
This is an illustration. Everybody has their reasons for needing—or thinking they need—the internet. Some people: Facebook. Others, needing to submit homework online. Others, to write that email to the loved one far away. Others, to write that column that’ll feed them for the next day. Others, to Skype home. Me, to blog. We’re a connected generation – you to me, me to you – and there’s nothing outside of some apocalyptic event that will change that. The Internet – this great web of interconnectivity – is a tool for good or evil. Like any tool, we’ll be held accountable for how we use it. One day God will ask what I did for Him with this blog, and I’ll have to answer.
If I’m willing to go out of my way for internet connection, I must make a greater priority of going out of my way for more important things – like people, or standing up for the truth, or giving people the Gospel. That thought may not be well connected to the rest of the post, but the thought is there. If I’m willing to go to extremes for creature comforts, but not for the things of God – then I need to rethink some things.