I can recall a typical Saturday or Sunday afternoon when I was a child. If we were not spending the afternoon at Grandma’s house, we would hop in the car and go for a drive. That drive would invariably lead us to a friend or relative’s house. We would drop in unannounced, without a call ahead (after all we had no cell phones), and totally unexpected. Sometimes we would bring along a dessert or a little something from the garden to share. We would be welcomed in with open arms and greeted with a smile. We would spend an hour or so visiting; the adults would spend time talking and enjoying one another, while the kids played together with real toys that required no batteries, power cords, or ear buds. Routine connection with people on a personal level was normal.
Today, most people have very little time for Grandma, much less anyone else. We don’t go for drives anymore because we don’t have time. If we dropped in unannounced on a so-called “friend” without calling first, that would be rude, inconsiderate and intrusive; after all, we have a cell phone, we could have called first. We’re just a little bit too concerned about ourselves to share our resources and spend our hard-earned money on others without any other motive than to simply be friendly. Instead of swinging by a friend’s house or sharing some time together, now we swing by their ‘wall’ on facebook to see what they have been up to. Better yet, we’ll just follow them around on twitter to see who can come up with the catchiest phrase. Our kids are most likely watching a movie on TV, posting pictures and changes to their status on facebook, texting with three different people, and one ear bud in listening to their ipod.
We wonder why nearly 19 million Americans suffer from depression in a given year with the average age of onset being 14.5 years.
I don’t have a big problem with facebook or other social networking tools; however, I think it’s time we logoff, make a call, and really connect with someone that we call a friend. I dread the thought of anyone asking, “Where have all the friends gone?” Proverbs 18:24 says “A man who has friends must himself be friendly…”
Take the time today to call a friend, have a cup of coffee together, share a meal or simply have a face-to-face conversation. Your mind will be eased, your soul will be refreshed, and you might even discover joy again. After all, the Creator of the universe said “It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen 2:18).
I’m going to log off now and go spend an hour with a friend over a cup of coffee. I think I’ll buy.