Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Why I Don't Tweet

A friend of mine will occasionally post this as her status:

Its my fault....I was paying attention to my phone.

I have to laugh when she posts this because its so familiar. How many times has one one my kids (or my husband) tried to ask me a question, but I couldn't answer because I was too distracted by my phone? And how many times have you been sitting at lunch with a friend when they get a text that cannot be ignored? This one is the best: how many times have you come up behind a driver swerving in the lane and driving 15 miles below the speed limit, only to pass them and discover that they were texting? We sit with our phones on the table while we eat, at the ready (in case the President calls?). We take them everywhere with us, even when we know we'll never hear it ring over the music at the gym or have to put it on silent because we're sitting in church. I think my brother-in-law may have been onto something when he wondered out loud if this generation of instant-messaging, instant gratification people will look back with regret at all the time they spent on the Internet, FaceBook and Twitter.


Don't get me wrong, I appreciate social media, and for all the negative things about it, I think it's pretty great that I can keep up with my friend who lives in Montana and my other friend who moved to New York, and see their little ones as they grow and mature.  I can share pictures with my in-laws and message my friends without having to remember their email addresses. I can share my joys or I can gripe and complain and have any number of people to commiserate with me. It's kind of weird, too, because I feel a little like a creeper when I look at friends photos of their Labor Day outings, but I guess that's why they shared them--to be looked at. 

The reason I won't have a Twitter account is this: even though social media and instant Internet are both great, they are also something (for me) that takes time away from the things and the people that are most important to me. And the things i actually have to do. Sometimes I sit down to do my morning devotion, only to get distracted by email and Pinterest. Even though I know one of my sweet babies is dying to tell me something, I'll often finish what I'm doing (which is obviously ├╝ber-important, like saving the world) before I can give them my attention. There are times when my husband and I will both be looking at our individual devices instead of talking at a time in our lives when we don't get to communicate much one-on-one.


We are faced with this high-tech, faceless, fast-drive culture and a generation of people entranced by its instant gratification. I know I am. It's almost cause for immediate celebration when I can find out about a teeth-whitening product on Pinterest, go to a blog to see how it's used, get a discount code in the comments section, go to the web page, order it, and have it delivered to my door five days later. Balance is essential, and we all learning how to live a balanced existence in a world that is so instant and distracting.

Now I need to put down my laptop and go spend time with my kids. As my dad told me on the phone the other night, "Enjoy life, sweetie. Before you know it they'll be gone." He would know.

Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can't make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. "My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action." Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is "T-I-M-E.”

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