Summary: This message addresses the ironic situation we find ourselves in today: more connected than ever yet lonelier than ever. The message focuses on the idea that having 2 or 3 good friends is more important than having 600 Facebook "friends."
[Video: see attached sheet – “The Innovation of Loneliness” – only use part of it – it’s at vimeo.com/70534716]
FIRST THINGS FIRST: It’s a lie that you can have 600 friends.
- For our purposes this morning, I want to use the terms “friends” and “acquaintances.”
- There is a difference between “friends” and “acquaintances.” It is impossible to have 600 friends. That’s just too many to keep up with.
- Why is that? Because to truly be a friend in any meaningful sense (as we’re defining things here), there has to be more than passing contact.
THE IRONY OF OUR 4G WORLD: We are more connected yet we’re more lonely.
- It’s a lie that you can have meaningful relationships with texts and Facebook.
- That’s not to say that texting or Facebook are wrong. There’s nothing wrong with either of them. They’re just not enough. We need more than that.
- It’s not enough to have 400 Twitter followers that you have fun with most evenings. That can be a cool diversion, but it’s not the same as actually having friendships.
- We need those face-to-face relationships. We need people who really care about us.
A BETTER WAY: You need 2 or 3 deep friendships more than you need 600 Facebook friends.
- If we have Facebook, why haven’t we eliminated loneliness? Because you need those face-to-face relationships.
- In fact, there are now studies that indicate that being on Facebook actually can make us more depressed and feel more isolated. Why? Mainly because of the power of comparison. We compare the reality of our lives to what everyone else is posting and our lives look inferior by comparison. Now, of course, part of that is because people are only posting the good stuff in their lives. We know that, but it’s still hard to shake that feeling of inferiority sometimes.
- I’ve shared before about the ironic regressive nature of technology.
- We’ve gone from face-to-face (full interaction; you get to see facial expression; you get to see gestures; you get hear vocal inflection) to phone (no facial; no gestures; you do still get vocal inflection) to email (communication but no facial, gestures, or inflection) to texting (all the limitations of email plus it’s briefer).
- Each of these were welcomed as progress (and they each certainly serve a purpose) but we don’t think about what we’re giving up each step down the communication ladder. It’s not that they don’t each have a place in our lives – they do. It’s that they are inferior forms and means of communication. Yet we act like they are superior.
- Why do we need deep relationships?
a. We need people who know us well (but love us anyway).
b. We need people to share daily life with.
c. We need people to call on in times of struggle.
d. There is joy in sharing our lives.
[Put in sermon outline]
- BIBLICAL EXAMPLES (BY THE NUMBERS):
a. 72, 12, 3.
- 72: Luke 10:1-24.