Friday, August 22, 2008


Today while I was at the gym, I overheard a conversation.

It was in the locker room.

I was not really eavesdropping as much as I was just trying to get dressed next to these two women and they were talking.

I really couldn't help but overhear.

So the one woman asks the other if she should call to cancel an appointment with this guy or just send him an email.

The second woman says that if she thinks he will get the email in a timely manner to just send the email. Then she says that she prefers to get an email from people rather than a phone call.

The other woman agrees and in my head I also agree.

They go on talking about how when people call on the telephone that they just go on and on. That an email is so much easier because you can keep it short, reply when you want and not be interrupted in the business of life.

Yeah, I get that.

That gets me thinking about something I heard the other day.

Go with me here...

We have become this society of people that follow Twitter conversations, text message each other and email back and forth. ALL. THE. TIME.

Most of these interactions are short and sweet. They are usually not deep and rarely intimate.

We are so busy that we seldom have time for real live conversations.

Because we are so busy, we actually seem to desire the short snippets of peoples lives via email and text messaging.

But, real live conversations lead to real live relationships. Ones that are intimate.

It really is amazing to me how we feel so connected because of these modern advances in technology, but so many people are really very lonely because they don't have any real live deep relationships. Because they don't have the time to invest in them.

I really felt this after returning from my high school reunion. I remember sitting up the last night in one of my old friends hotel rooms. There were a group of us just hanging out on her bed and talking. I caught myself leaning my head up against one of my friends. A friend I have not seen in almost 20 years.

Okay, so mostly I was having trouble holding my head up. It was LATE y'all and I am getting too old to stay up that late.

But I thought about my comfort level with her which was so deep because of the time I had invested with her many years ago. As teens, we have so much more time to invest in relationships. I realized I miss that in my friendships now as an adult.

I do believe that we were created to be in relationship with one another. Jesus left us with 2 commands - Love God with all your heart and Love One Another.

Not so easy to do on Twitter.

Now I am not suggesting that we can't encourage each other via Twitter and email. I send emails to encourage and console almost every single day. I can reach a lot more people that way. It would be nearly impossible for me to touch as many lives with an encouraging word via the phone.

I am also not passing any sort of judgement. I am so guilty of not picking up the phone or hand writing a note or even making a lunch date with a friend.

So, this is my attempt to be more connected with people for real.

I started a list of a couple things I do that help me.

  • Keep my address book updated and handy so I can address a note easily.
  • Keep stamps handy.
  • Buy cards in packages or bulk so I can send one when a friend comes to mind.
  • Keep fun pens around to write notes with.

  • Keep my phone numbers updated in my cell phone and home phone so I can just pick up the phone and call a friend when I have a few minutes to spare.

  • Don't go to lunch alone so much. I cannot tell you the amount of times, I have been out and about and taken my kids to eat at one of those playlands only to be sitting there by myself! So, next time with my handy numbers - call a friend to come and meet me.

  • Learn to say, "I gotta go now." This is the hardest part for me. I am a talker. Many of my friends are talkers and so I avoid the phone because I know it will be a marathon talk of which I do not have time for.

So, I should get over this. Talk as long as I can. Touch base, connect and hang up when I need to. It's better than no conversation at all, isn't it? Yeah? Isn't it? What do you think?

Okay, give me the ways you keep in contact with your friends and family. Ways you keep real live relationships going strong.

Yeah, and do that in a short, sweet, non-intimate snippet in the comments of this technologically advanced blog. Ironic, huh?


Jenn P. said...

I think those are all good ideas! I love buying cards at the is a sickness I have. But, I find reasons all the time to send them to the people I love.

Boomeyers said...

You are right you must draw the line between what is personal and what is impersonal.
That said though, I LOVE all the technological advances, because I have caught up with many girlfriends from high school on the internet, that I would not have spoken to until our 25th! With pictures and everything I can see what they have been up to and see if they want to get together sometime too. Ahhh, we are so blessed!!

Kellie said...

Great post!

I have found too that asking "Is this a good time?"at the beginning of the phone call is always helpful, because the person you are calling can then tell me exactly how much time she really has!

I love all this social media, and I love how it opens my world to get to know people I would never know otherwise...but it is never a replacement for real relationships!

Rebecca a.k.a. Mum said...

This is a great post Janel, I agree that technology is fabulous, and I wouldn't know some of my good *friends* that I have met online over the years, but there is nothing like connecting with a friend IRL, enjoying spending some time together, laughing and hugging in person...and just being WITH them.

I love my computer....probably too much as a matter of fact....but it does not beat spending time with family and friends and being real in the real sense of the word.

I talk to my family by phone every week, I have many friends I call on a semi regular basis, but I am *talk* to them via email too.

I just hope that I can teach my kids that IRL is better than 'on-line' can be any day, and to take technology as it should be taken...a normal thing in our lives, but not necessarily a necessity in life.

monica said...

Life is busy. I prefer face to face conversation than phone calls or emails. I have a cell phone (and no home phone) so I have to keep calls to a minimum to keep from getting too many minutes. I like email b/c of the convenience. I often times send out emails when its either too late or too early to make a phone call. There's nothing like being in the same room with a friend though. :-)

epshugg said...

I like your ideas, too. The thing I'm most concerned about is not keeping up with my grandmothers like I should, who live in another state and one of whom practically raised me. The one who practically raised me does have email--she's pretty hip for an 83-year-old. But I think she mostly enjoys getting actual letters. I try to send my grandmothers an envelop stuffed with pictures of my kids and notes from all of us once or twice a year. I am way overdue for that, so I've added it to my to-do list for this week. In our society of living so far away from family, I think it's easy to put family behind everyone else, when really, they are the ones we should keep in touch with the most.

Kelli said...

I totally agree with you.

My best friend and I met when we were 13. We only lived in the same town for a year before our families both moved to other states. This was long before emails and cell phones and text messaging. We send cards, letters, b'day packages, and tried to visit once a year. Email, facebook, and blogging has made it even easier to keep in touch...but we still call, send cards, packages, and look forward to seeing each other in person...18 years later.

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