Opinion

Does God have an iPod? | Walter Backstrom

There was a report that recently stated that because of MySpace and Facebook, families are spending less time together.

These social network programs are the latest rage. The American family is under enough pressure. This just adds to the stress.

I realize we are in the digital age, where everything has to be fast and faster. Does anyone wonder where the other side of the coin will lead us? We all know that children need more of our time, not less of our time. Humans are hard-wired to seek protection and love from the tribe, i.e., the family.

Everywhere you look, people are texting, talking on cell phones, listening to iPods — but no one is saying hello. I recently took an informal survey from school principals. I asked why they don't teach children to write. They all said it was because of the computer. No one really needs to learn to write. They can just text or e-mail.

I was so flabbergasted, I threw away my iced mocha and decided to go back to regular coffee. I wonder what would happen if the computer froze. What would you do if you needed to write a check? You can't print your name because you wouldn't be able to cash it. The written word is important. However, it seems to be losing in the battle for a person's attention.

We stop reading the paper, turn on the iPod and retreat to our own little world. It is almost like we don't need to know one another anymore. In this fast-paced, gotta-go world, we look down on those Third World countries who are forced to rely on one another.

There is something very human and very humbling when we acknowledge that we really do need one another.

In my job, I have the privilege of listening to lots of people. What I have come to understand is that people want to be heard. But more importantly, they really want to tell their story. In a strange sort of way, we have become a nation of strangers. We rush past one another, too busy to speak. What a shame.

I believe what this does is loosen the bonds of our own humanity, and we all pay a price, even though we are too busy to acknowledge it.

It always makes me feel good when you look at a person, and they surprise you by smiling and saying hi. During that precious moment, you have two people acknowledging that we are all part of the human race. I am not against modern technology. I just worry that we are losing our humanity.

Once you start down that slippery slope, humans begin to believe that it's all about them. In my life's final act, if I am at the Pearly Gates, I am not going to text God and say, "what's up?"

I am going to say: "God, did I make it?"

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