We were watching television the other night, and this Verizon Commercial came on. I literally almost fell off the couch laughing as I watched this PERFECT metaphor for our culture come into play. I'm sure it took the Advertising Team at Verizon a while to put together such a masterpiece, but from this guy's perspective, this is exactly how our culture works today.
In fact, I believe it's so right on, I wrote a book, to be released in the fall, entirely about this phenomenon. It's part of our culture. It's how we communicate. Texting, and subtle signs have become the norm, rather than the rule. We are living in a world where common communication is being thought of more as an art than a learned skill everyone must have.
I see it every day. As I work with teenagers, I see a generation unable to look each other in the eye and cross the bridges of tough conversations. They're riddled with the fear of rejection and acceptance, and how more to protect yourself than behind the tiny little screen of an iPhone.
Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with technology. Technology isn't the evil forcing our kids to be relationally illiterate. It's people. It's how we use technology that drives us to be who we are. I was talking with a prominent pastor the other day who made a comment, "We don't realize e-mail, facebook, and texts are controlling us in a world where we think we are controlling more and more."
It's a sad day when the retreats out here at KIVU have to be places where we teach kids how to talk, but it's exactly what's going on. And when they begin to discover their own voice in the middle of their peers, I watch a light bulb go off of confidence. They hold their head higher. They walk a little taller. They even engage in conversations that would seem uncomfortable to bridge in a big group. They begin knowing who they are.
I encourage everybody to watch this short 30 second Verizon commercial, and let me know, Am I right, or what?