One of my close friends asked me this question: How can we connect spirituality if and when we're using technology? Allow me to digress first....
Many people are beyond frustrated with their "tech" parallel lives because they are way too plugged in. I will be the first to say that there are times when I look forward to the day that I no longer have to live on the grid; be in the grind, etc. If someone calls my home phone and I do not answer, their next step usually is to try the cell, then I receive a text, a facebook, or an email! SHEESH! I cannot blame them, because they have figured out how to locate me at all time, in all places. I do say, that as these interesting times present themselves, I try my best to groom the "caller" by letting them know as the initial message stated, "I am busy, unable to talk in length at this time, but I will return their call when MY TIME permits!" Our society seems to have forgotten that the voice mail has a purpose, as well as Caller ID. As much as I hate to Andy Rooney you, I have to say, I'm so over being plugged into life!
Now that I've gotten this off my chest, and have given the technological universe a piece of my mind, I can answer the question. Thanks for the indulgence!
How CAN this planet connect on a spiritual plane using the medium of technology? Very carefully that's how. There have been more times than I can remember when I have had to press and hold the delete button so that I could refer and filter my thoughts through a thesaurus. Even if my words become quite impassioned, at least every person reading it will know precisely what I mean, feel or think, with very little miscommunication. As a result, only a handful of times have I had to repeat "what I meant was" conversations. Emotions cannot be read in text form. Especially when using 168 characters of messaging. How in the world can anyone truly let another human being know just how definitively unique and especially appreciated they are to my life when I'm writing ILYTTYLSYL?
(I Love You, Talk To You Later, or See You Later)
Words, when laced with the specifics of ones heart, are extremely powerful. Our sacred texts are written, because the documentation of those words surpasses time. There is validity in writing a message to people. The carefulness of documentation is where I believe we have disregarded individual onus. Books on the internet, music, facebook, twitter messages, email, and texting are easily maneuvered. In the same manner, the etiquette of use must be learned. I believe that using technology to connect spiritually is possible, when the intent is clear. We can use every medium provided to "connect" to each other. As well we should use every medium possible. What we should also keep in the forefront of our hearts, is what to do once we connect. There is no spirit in words, there is spirit in the intentions of those words. I am saying "words" because the technology that we use is primarily scripted. Society has used videos for at least 3 decades, and many a soul has been "won to Jesus" through Televangelists from the Bakers to Jakes! Now YouTube, web-cams, inter-vids, and dat form videos have given everyone the opportunity to communicate how they feel. In my personal relationship with the Christian faith, the passage, "Iron sharpens iron" Proverbs 27:17; has only applied to the "leaders of the ministry". This Big I and little you concept does not lend itself to the remainder of that passage, "So does one man sharpen another". Technology gives the inalienable right to pursue spiritual happiness in cyber-settings. Hallelujah! The mere globalization of technology allows every man the opportunity to overwhelm himself with spiritual settings, and back away into meditation at will. It sometimes must take the place of a man-to-man interaction; as there will always be times when someone cannot or should not attend Mass, Service, Feast, Temple, etc. As in all things, what we must remember to do is take responsibility for how we manifest ourselves in the setting; because it will be memorialized through the receiver forever....and ever...AMEN.
As always, thanks for reading. See you next time.....