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Connected, But With Who?

I was sitting at the kitchen table recently doing some research on my laptop.  My 20 year old daughter was at the other end answering emails on hers.  Other than the sound of fingers on the keyboards, there was complete silence as we kept pecking away.  Forty-five minutes later, my daughter broke the silence:  “Wow!  Technology.  Do you realize we’ve sat here for this long and haven’t said one word to each another?”  I wish I could share with you that we closed our laptops at that point and enjoyed meaningful time together for the next hour.  We didn’t.  We simply acknowledged the reality of the moment and continued to engage with pixels instead.  Not our best father-daughter moment!  Oh, to add to this, my 15 year old son was in the next room playing a game on my iPad.  Hmmm…

You, no doubt, have a similar story.  As parents, we really do want to make the most of our time with our children.  We want that for our family relationships in general.  Unfortunately, it’s not always easy.  There are so many distractions in life that can easily derail us from the things that matter most—if we’re not careful. 

One such distraction is the use of technology.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I love the quick touch points it allows me to have with my wife and children.  There have been numerous times when football practice has run late, and I’ve been grateful for that timely text message from my son.  Technology allows us to create, develop, video, research, photo, email, surf, blog, tweet, Skype, Facebook, and the list goes on.

For all the amazing benefits, it does have some pitfalls.  While it allows us to stay connected more than ever before, the question is who are we connected to?  Is it truly with the people who are at the same table with us? We’ll never be perfect in this area, and it’ll take wisdom and discernment to know when to respond to that text or email.   The question at hand is this: do you really need to respond right now? I’m asking myself this more and more these days!

Stay connected, but seek to do so in meaningful ways–especially with those who mean the most to you!