O Smart Phone… Where Are Thy Manners?
Café Menu for Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Today’s Special is: Keeping Our Manners Intact Despite Today’s Technology
Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Lara Sadowski
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 2:5 NIV
I was recently out doing my grocery shopping, and I noticed a woman talking to herself in the frozen vegetables aisle. If it were a couple of decades ago, I would swear that woman had lost her mind. But it is 2014, and I know that woman is talking on her cell phone. And she is not alone.
People walk up and down streets with their phones in hand, carrying on conversations (sometimes personal ones!). Teenagers can now walk and text at the same time (forget chewing gum). One of the top videos on YouTube is a person texting while walking in a shopping mall and that person falls into a fountain. Good grief.
Do any of you long for the days where we only had a landline in our homes, and no one could talk on the phone during dinner? How about writing REAL thank you notes and NOT email versions?
Don’t get me wrong. Technology has opened up our world so we can connect with people we may not have ever known. There are websites that are specifically for prayer requests; people everywhere can lift up their hearts to God. Those are GREAT things. But I think somewhere along the way, we have lost our manners.
All throughout The Bible, we see examples of people giving thanks:
“I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High”
– Psalm 7:17
“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”
– Ephesians 1:16
In Biblical times, people gave thanks face-to-face and also through letters. They did not have smart phones, tablets, or email accounts. They made meaningful connections. Personal connections. And they paid personal attention to people in their midst.
Today, I see people texting each other rather than calling each other. My husband recently reminded his son (my stepson) to send a thank you note to my parents for a gift they had given him. My stepson said, “Do they have an email address?” I smiled and told him they did not, so he would have to thank them “the old fashioned way.” He looked at us like we asked him to scrub the floors with his bare hands. (He did write the note! :->)
Please know that I love my iPhone and Samsung tablet (maybe a little too much), so I desperately need this reminder as well. Let’s thank God for the blessing of technology because we can reach so many more people for Him. But let’s also ask God to guide our “technology etiquette” so we don’t lose the ability to personally connect with those He puts in our paths.
When you are talking or sharing a meal with a friend, loved one or stranger, put away your phone and look that person in the eye. Enjoy each other’s company.
Father God, we are saturated with technology. Smart phones and tablets are everywhere and they are a blessing when used for Your good. But we have allowed them to interfere with truly connecting with Your children. Help us to put down our phones and lift up others who need to know You. We love You so much! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
©2014 by Lara Sadowski. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Tuesday, 29 April 2014.