Friday, December 9, 2011

You Write My Blog. . . .


When I saw this very creative yet sobering Christmas card that's been circulating through the world of social media, I sat in silence. . . just staring at it. I'm curious about what the rest of you think. I've taken some time to think about the card and what it says about us as individuals and a culture, but I've decided to hold back until hearing from you. So, go at it. . . write my blog. . . what do you think?

18 comments:

Blaine said...

the father with a little shushing-one-fingered gesture "Just wait my daughter" someone more important is e-mailing me. Face-to-face conversations take the backseat to digital conversations... oh boy... call me challenged.

janalynn said...

When I see this card my initial response is a chuckle - how funny and creative this family is to do something different. Then I start to think about the reality of the picture and my heart sinks.

With a new little baby in our family I just imagine what life will be like when she becomes a teenager. My husband and I both enjoy our phones our computers, but the thought of our family portrait looking like this quite honestly scares me.

Will we become the next people to trade in our time together talking and laughing for our phones, gameboys, and computers? If that is where we are heading as a family - I would just rather get rid of it all.

We wonder why our society has become the way it has.... look at us! This defines us! Or does it?

We don't have to fall into that trap - we can make commitments and set boundaries so this doesn't happen to our family. And what better time to make that commitment - Christmas!

Today I commit to give my spouse and my daughter a computer free Christmas!!! What about you?

Al said...

I laughed at first when I saw this family Christmas picture. I know the toil my wife goes through of trying to decide how to pose for our picture every year. We look at websites describing different poses for families of five.

Then the reality of the picture began to sink in to my soul. A family together but yet very individually focused. The most striking aspect of the photo to me is the Father's finger. I have done that to my children and now see what it looks like from a different vantage point.

The background of the picture gives the traditional feel of Christmas in a modern world of individualism and self gratification. A family event turned into four people getting a picture taken.

jesse said...

I think it speaks to our cultures overwhelming obsession to be funny and noticed. As a youth pastor, the inability of students to get deeper into things without trying to tell the joke or discover the next viral video or whatever drives me crazy.

This family can do whatever it wants, and it's kinda, sorta funny. But it is 100% style over substance. I want to live a life of substance, and that is often the counter-cultural choice.

Mike said...

"Oh, there's no place like the Web for the holidays..." Or to paraphrase Steven Curtis Chapman, "The Web is where Christmas is found..." *sigh* What a very sad pic! And a spot-on commentary of our times.

Daniel said...

Like others have said, my first inclination is to LOL to myself inside my head... Then I realize that it's funny because it's true. Technology tells us that any down time should be spent doing something. To be distracted is always better than being bored. Just sitting and being still - even in the presence of other people - is increasingly difficult for many people to do.

It also demonstrates another truth about technology. It allows us to always be somewhere else. Where we are, the people there with us in real time and space are not good enough. There's something more important, more urgent, more interesting, more fun somewhere else. And you can now go to that place anytime you want with the push of a button.

Sure this family is in the same physical vicinity, but they are worlds apart mentally and emotionally. Sam is playing a game, Jack is watching a video, Pam is texting her friend, and Bill is checking emails from work. They are together, yet completely absent.

Yes, this picture was staged, but it still speaks volumes about a very true reality facing many families today. The great tragedy is that most don't even know that it's a problem, or at least the extent of the problem.

Another tragedy is that the church isn't addressing the problem very well either. It has been my experience that the older generation, the "digital immigrants," don't understand enough about technology to really address it from a biblical perspective. Yet the millennials, "digital natives," see no problem with technology whatsoever because it is like the air they breath. As a youth and family minister, I feel that it's partly my responsibility to help both sides understand how to approach the issue of technology from a healthy, biblical perspective.

I could go on, but I've gone longer than I intended. Let's hear some other ideas!

Lantz said...

Perception is reality.

This is reality for many families.

Fun and jokes intended with the picture, at least they did not "fake" the typically Christmas card.

Joel said...

Don't try to find a boogie-man behind every corner. This looks to me like a fun family, all wearing similar outfits, taking their Christmas photo together. If they were smoking pot or drinking beer, that'd be different. They may all be on their YouVersion Bibles!

Joe Oliver said...

It is clear that my soon-to-be 9 month old is beginning to be curious about what I am doing. When I brush my teeth, he stares intensely not sure about with daddy's strange habit. Now he is going from curiosity to mimicking what I do. If I clap, he will try to clap, when I sound out words, he is beginning to follow my lead. All of this is exciting and fun until I realize that even when I am not trying to teach my son something, he is still paying attention.

Lately I have noticed the incredible curiosity he has toward my cell phone and my iPad. I try to sneak a peek at my email without him noticing, but it becomes clear that not only does he notice, but he wants to join in on the action. For this reason, I am sure marketers are trying to create the "iBaby", the modern version on the “Sears Computron”. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWZfL_cmDgg )

This gets me thinking, everything that I want to teach my family, whether about culture, relationships, the world, or even the scriptures it is just a quiet whisper as compared to the actions and daily habits I have. Are my habits contributing to a technology driven culture, or can I be intentional about the way I use technology so it is a helpful tool for me and my family. What am I teaching my family (intentionally or otherwise) about when I am more curious to see who tagged me in a picture on Facebook, or who sent those recent emails? Will my family be like the picture above, having a better relationship with their smart phone than their family?

Andrea said...

When I see scenes like this -- real, or this recreation on a card -- it is easy to notice (and condemn) the lack of connection taking place among those in the same vicinity. But almost always, it is due to another connection taking place elsewhere. I say this to point out that turning off technology does mean a sacrifice -- a loss of connection to someone.
Janalynn, you want a computer free Christmas, and I intend to have one too, but there is a cost. My husband and I are intentionally low tech within our home: one shared computer, no internet, no tv. I love what this does for our relationship. And on holidays, I usually go a week or more without checking email. But who misses out? My parents and sister who live on the other side of the country wonder why they don't hear from me more often. My friends know it takes me a day to reply to a funny text because I almost never have my phone on me. And sometimes, I don't get an invitation to a last minute shindig until it is too late (gasp!).
I choose to be present in my world at the expense of other connections, and I think it is a very healthy, good choice to make. But living that way means changing the expections that my friends and family have of me, and as sobering as this picture is, that is tough to do! At the very least, when we look at this picture, let's ask who this family is connecting with, if it is not with each other.

Adam Colter said...

I think this is really interesting. Not many people would disagree with the message it is trying to convey. We as Americans are investing too much of ourselves in our gadgets. I think it is important for us to put down the toys every once in a while but i also think there is another side of this story that doesn't get much attention. Using these gadgets for our advantage. trying to fight this electronic, computer, ipod age will on lead to anger, frustration, and disappointment. I think the bigger question should not be so much of a how do i pry the phone from my child's hands, but how can I use the phone in his hands for my(our) benefit.

Jimmy said...

i think this is hysterical and a family all on the same page. gotta give them credit where credit is due. this is the temperament of most families, i'm just impressed they were afraid to hide it!

sucks that it's a reality...maybe someone should email/txt/FB our culture that... then they might see it:)

Rich Noble said...

Very creative, indeed - and even funny! But what a statement this makes about our culture! This family - and all of us - would be wise to consider how we can control technology rather than become enslaved to it.

Anonymous said...

Terrifyingly accurate. All this connectivity has managed to draw our focus to everything except the things that actually (or should) demand it.

Jeff said...

YES! I thought that picture was really disturbing as we all become more & more isolated on the web. Walt, you have to check out this video as I have been teaching from it the potential impact it has on the World View of a Christian. I think you will find it amzing and the comments I get from students is off the chain. http://www.flixxy.com/beware-of-online-filter-bubbles.htm

Anonymous said...

.....and what is really funny ( so to speak) is I am reading this on one of "those" devises as I comment!

Mike McGarry said...

I think it's a great satire: making a critical statement about our culture in an overly exaggerated way. I doubt they were trying to make a public statement or anything, just to poke fun of themselves (and us too!). Obviously, I think we all see a bit of ourselves in this picture... and I think that's what makes it so personally disarming.

Anonymous said...

its funny reality, our society has come to this, no big deal, like most things in life, its a fad, and judging from all the posts most of us will change.