The Widening Gap Between Virtual and Personal Human Interaction

People have pet peeves. I’m going to be honest and share one of mine.

For the past few years, it seems like authentic human interaction has decreased so distant from what I remember as a young man and continues to advance with ever increasing alternative ways to communicate.

Everyone today carries a smart phone with downloaded applications. Go to Google Play or The Apple Store and notice how many are in the Social Media category.

My developing concern is how this rising trend of human communication is encouraging isolation, especially for anyone who lacks confidence in their communication skills to begin with, myself falling into this group to a degree in recent years.

We’re blessed with individuals that care enough to reach out to us through text and other social tools, and I appreciate every effort showing someone else is thinking of me. I enjoy face-to-face opportunities to visit with individuals, especially in our homes, with the special touch that offers, getting to know other men’s families, which is difficult, if not impossible, through social media.

People are reducing their responsibilities of “doing life” with others. In social media circles, we may have hundreds of “friends” but how many within those hundreds do you feel you could call in a time of need and rely on them to show up at your home to offer themselves toward meeting or resolving that need? Social media “friends” also seem expendable as we trim our list from time to time.

It’s a proven scientific and phycological fact that over 80% of conversation is non-verbal! When we are face to face, we add many vital delivery elements that increase the effectiveness of our interactions.

As Christians living in this new era of communications and means of interaction, we all must ask ourselves: In any week, how much eye-to-eye, heart-to-heart ministry is occurring in our lives?

Which begs the soul-searching question! How should we respond?

I believe we all need to strive at focusing our efforts at.

  • Increase our efforts to seek face-to-face engagement.
  • Work to expand the circle of people, we make preferred efforts toward meeting face-to-face rather than the easier means of communicating “virtually”.
  • Pay closer attention to the other 80 plus percent of communication enhancements that face to face brings to the relationship. Make an actual phone call your Plan B so you can hear their voice with the added elements offered in doing so.
  • Stop and dedicate more time to visit with and listen to others.
  • Ask more questions and attempt to learn more about them, their families, their hobbies, passions, etc.
  • Show genuine, authentic concern for another’s needs in ways that demonstrate they mean enough to you to show up, or call as soon as achievable.And PLEASE put away your cell phone when visiting with another person. Show them they are your #1 priority during your visit!

We can much more effectively affect the world for the cause of Christ when we commit to reducing our efforts of using texting and social media platforms where it’s viable and be there and in person.

I’m not against social media, my plea to myself, and anyone that will hear me is, establish a more concerted endeavor to increase actual personal interactions everywhere feasible. Make the extra effort, walk the extra mile, to show your care for others when and where you can!

God Bless!

Blane