Notes from the church lady: Technology won’t replace face-to-face

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together…" Hebrews 10:25

How much has technology advanced? This week there was a post on Facebook that talked about what it would be like if you were talking to someone 40 years ago? What if you told that person you had a device you carried with you that could access information from all over at the world at your fingertips? These devices not only share information, but enable you to take a picture on your phone and send it to others in a matter of seconds.

If I was that person from 40 years ago I would think such things were the imagination of a science fiction writer. However, from those dreams came our cell phones and computers of today. When a friend told me about social networks a decade ago, little did I realize how much I would use it.

I am now connected with family members, friends I haven't seen in years and even friends from high school. Although it contains frivolous information, it also serves as a network for prayer requests and encouragement to those who are going through difficult times.

With all of this said, there is a negative side to all of this technology. So many people are so enslaved to these devices they forget how to interact with one another in person. I lost count of the times I saw people sitting together without talking and instead were busy with their cell phones texting someone or "surfing the web".

Despite all of the marvelous inventions of the past 40 years, we as a people are busier than they ever dreamed. Gone are the days when you had time to just sit and visit with one another. It's nice to know that many of our senior citizens get together daily for coffee and a friendly chat.

For the rest of us we are going to get around to picking up the phone and visit with someone or even go by to visit with them. I had a friend that I intended to get by and visit, but kept putting it off because I had other things to do. When she died suddenly, I found myself at her funeral wishing I had taken the time to go see her at her home. I just never got around to doing it.

It isn't as easy for me to get out and around like I used to but I try to maintain communication with my friends. It takes only a few minutes to pick up the phone and call to check on them. Still it doesn't compare to visiting with them in person.

On New Year's Eve, several people gathered in the fellowship hall in church for an informal get together. We played Bible trivia and just visited. I was so blessed to visit with people that I usually just speak to in passing at church. I wondered why we don't have such gatherings more often.

As the verse at the beginning says we shouldn't put off being together, especially as believers worshipping together and encouraging one another. Although it is true you can worship at home and although there are many wonderful church services on television, it isn't the same as being there "live".

Debra Whittington is a longtime resident of Tucumcari. Contact her at:

dawhittington@msn.com

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