What if we’re really growing apart?
Weekly, I’m amazed by technology and our ability to connect instantaneously wherever we are. But I wonder if that’s what’s really happening – the connecting.
There’s a wonderful (and frightening) book called The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis). It’s a compilation of letters from one devil to another – a mentoring devil to a junior devil. It’s dizzying what it’ll do to your thinking because everything seems to be in reverse. If you want to push your brain, it’s worth your time.
So… What if it were true? If there was an evil force in the world, what would be its primary work?
It would attack love, wouldn’t it? And love is care. And wouldn’t one of the most evil ways to do that be to help us slip into a twilight state of sleep and indifference but at the same time make us feel as though we’re active and connecting with one another?
“Your business is to fix his attention on the stream. Teach him to call it ‘real life’ and don’t let him ask what he means by ‘real’.”
C.S. Lewis (1942 – can you believe that?)
from The Screwtape Letters
Okay, my band of evilness, here’s an idea…
Let’s make it so easy for people to connect that they focus on the quantity of connections rather than the quality of those connections… Devolve the meaning of friend. Devolution. Mmmmm.
Let’s give them some tools that allow them to find each other wherever they may be and let’s encourage them to be obsessed with those tools. So efficient. Wait… And then maybe they can keep track of those friends… In front of each other… Yes, a contest of sorts. So proud.
Let’s help them push human interaction to their fingers rather than their faces… Oh, so nice… Quicker less thoughtful communication eroding their ability to communicate at all, perhaps? Could it be that they may even shy away from talking completely?
Yes quicker, less thoughtful, less meaningful.
All along, they’ll feel like they’re making more connections but in reality, they’ll be growing apart… Becoming less able to connect in reality. Conversations will become acronyms. Discussions will become monologues and homologues. Listening, reflection, and thought… Pffft. Rush. Rush. Rush.
Oh… To have them care more about telling their story than living their story… How wonderfully terrible that would be.
Let’s be careful.