“Social Media is a dangerous place to seek affirmation, acceptance, identity and security” Cornelius Lindsey
Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings, prayers and wishes for a blessed new year 2018!!!
Connectivity is the byword for today. This generation can proudly boast of being “connected” more than any previous generation, as people across the world- almost every nook and corner is now “connected” with news, updates flowing and flooding from one end to the other.
By now, an average Smart phone user starts his day with a look at the Whatsaap/Face Book/other Social Media, stays connected all through the day, and ends his day byscrolling through those same apps before retiring to the bed. The smart phones have become feeders of a flood of information to an extent that we find the phone “memory” insufficient- both the memory for storage and the memory for the access (RAM- the Random Access Memory is like a Rapid Action Force that will surge into operation and get information really rapid.
But, Hey RAM (Random Access Memory), do you really know what happens further to the information that interfaces with the human memory? Do we have limits? Or is it ever expanding- in the needed proportion between random access and the storage within?
While we are flooded with info, and that calls for our attention with a variety of caller tunes and alerts, it will be good if we pause a while to think over What’s DOWN with all “What’s UP” in our generation. Let us quickly review some of those things as UESI people
1. Our Quiet Time: is no longer quiet- its noisy, surrounded by the alters of a variety of tunes. And our random access memory mixes the info from the Quiet Time to what’s already flowing there randomly. By now our mind- a wayside as in the parable of the sower- receives the Word, but only to be taken away by the birds (waves) of the air…How sad!
2. Our Reading: May I confess, my reading habit has come down, almost reduced to NIL these days. And when I confessed this to an erstwhile voracious reader (and a Christian writer), he too confessed the same – that the alerts from the connected world, distracted him so much that he can no longer focus on what he is reading. Reading has been a beautiful habit. When we read with a focus, our mind works so hard to create the scenes what we read and show that to us in our mind very creatively. With the flood of visual media, our minds no longer have to flex our imagination to visualize the scenes we read. We only receive someone else’s imagination, not ascertaining if it is right, wrong or partially true
On the flooding of visuals over the reading, long ago (I think in the early 90s), I asked Rev PT Chandapilla a question” Is TV a taboo or tool? In his sarcastic punch, he replied, “Not a taboo, but by now definitely a tool of the devil” With the flood of visuals- from news across the world to management talks to songs to devotions to jokes to pornos that flow into our hand-helds, quiet readings and creative flexing of our imaginations is dying!!!
3. Our daily work (and studies): Yes, our daily work and studies too is getting irreparably damaged by the flood of social media. Our studies – which is also our window to God’s amazing work in that field of study , so is our work an opportunity to express what He want to do further in that field (may it be engineering, medical, agri, economics, banking or any other). Good focus on the subject and prayers for our field is essential for God to reveal what He wants us to do further. However, our hand-held smarties are hampering the focus we need to have on work and studies.
4. Our relationships: Sometimes people are so engrossed with their hand-helds, that they can’t even look outside their screens, for a smile, a friendly talk, or a conscious effort to build friendships. The irony is that right at the social media we get visuals of how it negatively influences relationships – social or anti-social? Jokes apart, marriages are breaking down, children are in their own “private world”, and friendships are getting disoriented as we no longer have time to look eye to eye.
(The above list of four is not exhaustive, as we seldom realise that most of the social media has already made us a market, segmented us into the potential marketing avenue for several products, based on the well-researches that have made of us, not just the likes and dislikes of us, but even our friends… Hence they prompt us with schemes that grab our attention, often against our schedules, principles, and priorities).
Is our inbuilt random access memory ever expandable? What are the psychological implications of flooding out our mind, most of the day with information beyond what we need/can handle?
The other day in my morning devotion, God led me to meditate on Daniel’s habit of praying three times a day.. What a discipline!
Can we make such decisions – limiting Social Media Influx also to less than 3 times a day ? When I tried it for some days, the social media opened like flood gates with hundreds of messages each time. Yet it gave me a relief and I was able to focus on work and prayer life the rest of the time.
The Psalmist says” My heart is not proud O Lord, my eyes are not haughty. I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful to me. But I have stilled and quietened my soul like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131: 1-2 Let us be aware (and be alerted on these), so that we will remain as a community constantly hearing God’s voice and be available for His concerns.
On Finances, we are again in bumpy roads, with too low inflows during January. We could hardly manage to disburse the Staff Salaries- January 2018 on 31.1.2018 However, the Future Benefits Q3(NPS, PPF and EPF) couldn’t be done fully due to want of funds, so as a few other pending bills.
As we are just 60 days away from the closing of the financial year, 2017-18 let us approach His throne of grace with thanksgiving and pray that God will mercifully lead us further. The February 2018 needs are as follows
Kindly be in earnest prayers for74L. Please pray and participate as the Lord leads each of us. .
Joyfully, with you in Christ
Reji. K. Daniel