This is a great post and something that I have been thinking about for a long time. Not necessarily in the same terms as this post, but here are some things about myself and others that have begun to really irritate me. Mainly because it says to those around us, “You just aren’t that important, even though I’m sitting right here with you.”
1) Checking email, text messages, etc. on either a phone, or some type of gadget while you are with someone.
2) Talking on the phone when you are out with someone. It might be one thing to take a call because you are at a business meeting. But the comment that is made about someone talking on the phone while at dinner, and the other person is just sort of staring into space. Bugs.
3) Watching TV while someone is trying to talk to you, whether they are in person, or you are on the phone.
4) Talking to someone, and you notice that they keep looking over your head for that other person in the room. Either they just don’t want to talk to you, or it could be an emergency. Who knows.
Interesting how all these are related to technology. Maybe it’s just become intrusive to some degree. Who knows.
But I do think in our desire to become more efficient, and what we consider productive, we have often reduced relationships to the role of a task, or the ends to a mean. We seem to no longer have time to slow down and engage others in conversation, or to listen attentively.
Maybe I’m bugged by all of this because I find myself guilty of all these things, and I hate when I catch myself doing them. But then, I tend to make up the excuse, well, “Everyone else is doing it, so this person will understand.”
Maybe I’m just more aware of the need for attentiveness, and particular attention to the fostering of relationships since I am working on my MFT.
Maybe it’s because I just finished reading Eugene Peterson’s, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places and it’s making me think more critically about relationships, and the importance I give to efficiency over them. Jesus didn’t seem to be too efficient. You never get the sense that he was not attentive to those he was with. You never get the sense that people didn’t feel valued around Christ. This book is changing and shaping what I do, and how I think about ministry and relationships. Then again, Peterson’s books are always kicking me where it hurts, and prodding me onto better things.
Maybe it’s because I am married now, and I see the extra importance of being attentive to those you are in relationship with.
What do you think? Have we gone too far? Does multi-tasking have a dark side to it?
As a college student, have you sacrificed important relationships because you have had to many things going at once? School? Work? Volunteering? Ministry? Dating? Family? Entertainment? Free-time? Worship? Etc.?
In our desire to do it all, and to do it all now, what have we lost?