I work on several different virtual teams. I stay connected with friends all over the world through the virtual means of Facebook, this blog, their blogs, Skype, etc... Some family and friends I know what they are thinking or doing because they Twitter about it. Some because they update their status on Facebook multiple times a day. Sometimes I wonder if I am spending more time with my virtual teams and connections than with the faces around me.
The question is.. does virtual connection really maintain relationships? If we take out the face to face reality is it still possible to go deeper?
In the Bible, multiple times over the idea of seeing the face of a person seals the reality that they exist. For example: Joseph about his youngest brother (Genesis 44).
In Exodus 3 Moses is afraid to show his face to God. I think it is easier to hide behind virtual connections because then our real faces and emotions are not seen. Then in Exodus 33-The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.
We are encouraged and exhorted to seek the face of the Lord over and over in scriptures.
The apostle Paul ends some of his letters with the hope of talking with them face to face soon.
It is interesting... while I am grateful for skype, facebook, twitter, blogs, etc... I guess I feel like sometimes they cheapen the depth of relationship that I could have with people.
Have you noticed that we went from birthday cards or party invites, to e-cards and e-invites, to facebook wall posts and facebook event invites? I am so grateful for the people in my life who call me, send real mail, visit me. They are good role models for me. I think I have been lulled into thinking that a facebook message is a good a connection as a phone call. Yikes! There is a sweetness to hearing the voice of a friend. To seeing them face to face.
I have a dear friend here right now. Amy Kroesche. We were roommates in college 14 years ago... and from that the Lord developed a beautiful friendship. We have maintained a good friendship over the years even though since college we have not lived on the same continent. Maybe some day. But having her here is so sweet.
I am not confirmed on what action to take in this thinking. But one thing I do know... relationships with family and friends should not be cheapened.