Social media, like its cousin, the cell phone, is a great thing so long as its stays in its place. Like many, I get irritated when it gets intrusive; unlike some, I try to always remember that I am the one in control.
Facebook can remind me unnumbered times that I have “notifications pending.” That does not mean that I have to jump up, drop all I am doing, and get on Facebook.
I suppose we all think it absurd to sit in a movie theatre and be interrupted by someone who seems to feel it necessary to answer calls, or even texts, during the course of the movie. Surely there are times when the situation demands it, but the frequency of this response kind of outweighs the likelihood that there is a bona fide emergency for each one who seems so obsessed.
The crux of the matter is this — are communication systems our servant, or our master? Put another way, a way which entails more humility: Are we so indespensable that we feel it necessary to respond to those pending notifications, those texts of such urgency, those invasive phone calls? Can we not separate the places and times when we indeed must respond immediately, from those which can wait until our schedule permits?
I think there is a setting of priorities at issue here. We fancy ourselves, I suppose, unselfish, if we jump immediately to every demand on our attention via cellphone or Inet. Worse, we dare to get frustrated with others when they do not immediately respond to our demands. Well, I don't, but I know some folks who do.
I remember a fellow who, not enmeshed like I am in a schedule which places one somewhere most of the time, doing something, would get irritated if I was a few minutes late for an engagement, and would call me on the cellphone, so he could get more irritated when I did not answer it.
I always found this to be somewhere beyween high handed and laughable.
Obviously, if I deliberately got tied up just to irritate someone, the response would make sense. However, that isn't generally the case.
Take back the control of your own schedule, folks. Allow the convenience of the cell phone, the Facebook, the email, to be just that — a convenience, not a taskmaster.
Life is too short to be controlled by a text.
Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis Christian High School. He can be contacted at: email@example.com