Friday, March 28, 2014

Feeling Disconnected in the Age of Hyper Connectivity

Digital devices may be wireless, but their users are hard-wired. From phone to tablet to television, the hyper-linked are showing no sign of slowing down. 

The Millennials are the first generation to grow up so hyper-connected.  In a George Barna survey, they identified technology as that which distinguishes them most. But when asked what they feel is lacking in their lives, they identified “meaningful” relationships. It would seem that so-called hyper-connections are starting to fray around the edges—texters and tweeters are feeling under-connected in ways that matter to them!

Three thousand years ago, David discovered the ultimate connection: “face time.” “When you said, Seek my face; my heart said unto you, your face, LORD, will I seek… there is none on earth that I desire beside you” (Ps. 27:8; 73:25). Whatever generation we are, and whatever high-tech toys we enjoy, we must be careful not to get so distracted that we deprive ourselves of our most hyper connection.


  1. Good morning,
    Excellent post. The millennials are an interesting study in contrast. And you have written up one of those contrasts: being connected and disconnected. As much as we like to believe that every generation is different, they are more like us than they are different. This is because they have the same fundamental needs, fundamental challenges, fundamental fears, and fundamental hopes. The difference is the culture in which they make significant life decisions in those areas. Though we like to believe that the technological tools reflect a significant difference, this reveals more about those that are older than it does about the millennials. Those tools merely reflect the same decisions that previous generations made with a slower, more cumbersome technology. I would assert that they condition of the soul, heart, mind, and body of those people (how segmenting to say "those people") are the same as the generations before. As it says, "the words of the mouth reveal the intents of the heart." The millennials just have faster, easier, and more convenient ways to reveal their hearts.
    And as you have noted, the challenge with easy, fast, convenient, available, and inexpensive communication technology, is that though it is convenient, it does not lend itself to meaningful communication. One would not "bare one's soul" in a tweet or instant message. I think meaningful communication requires both trust and vulnerability and electronic mediums are not trustworthy enough for that. In addition, one of the reasons people prefer emails and instant messaging is that the communication can be managed. Someone can think of how and what they say before they send it. At least they should. This modulating effect decreases the openness of the communication.
    It has been said that millennials are loyal to people rather than institutions and belief systems. If they don't like the music, they will leave without telling anyone that they are leaving or why they left. They will just go down the road for an experience that they like (trading the chain pizza joint for a hole in the wall one where they know the owner). But this lack of loyalty (which is actually loyalty to one's own desires) is not unique to the millenials. It is just highlighted more when they express it.
    As such, the millenials will be the lost generation to Jesus Christ unless the church figures out how to make the stumbling block the cross of Christ (and not the music, or the church programs).
    Thank you.
    Larry Q

  2. Wow, Larry! What an anointed writ! You seem to have insight into our beloved Millennials. They are a sensitive generation who will, and perhaps already have, recognized the emptiness of the world's toys. They are learning much faster than did my generation. Yes, the church needs to be ready with 'real' life answers to the desperate longing of their hearts. We need to pray for them, individually and as a whole! Pray for mine, Larry. (I have two.)