“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” John 15:16
Since the dawn of creation, parents have nurtured their offspring. Family and community leaders primarily taught the children, and traditions were passed from the voices of one generation to the next – on purpose.
Then came technology, and the teacher moved front and center.
Television: A blessed mixture of the obvious and the unknown – the ridiculous and the ever intriguing. Upon its arrival, this new fixture was placed in the center of most every home. Soon ‘living’ revolved around this new invention. My mother told me, in its early stage, the TV was a status symbol. Later, TV became a necessity. Eventually, children grew up with no knowledge of life without its voice.
I was raised in the post-industrial revolution era. By the time I walked home from grade school, the TV had taken its place in the cradle of society. The one-eyed babysitter waited to entertain children across the country with an after school agenda – and we loved it!
But, through the years, countless hours of consumption left me empty. I was full of entertainment, but lacked substance. During my teen years I had little to do with this technology and put it out of my life in exchange for real relationships.
Then came the personal computer – which graced every home with endless information and connection.
Social Media: A beloved mixture of vital information and nonstop conversation. In the early years, consumers were promised simplicity and effectiveness beyond imagination. Soon, productivity multiplied exponentially and the average attention span shortened. Now, modern society has a new normal. We all agree, there is no turning back. But, like a tree of knowledge in our midst – each of us must adjust our lives to eat of its fruit or partake of its poison.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love entertainment, computers and social media. I never plan to return to the phone-book era for information! But, in the end, I can’t help but wonder how a lifestyle of social media consumption will produce a fruitful life – one that impacts in the grand scheme of things – fruit that remains.
Maybe we can learn from history.
Looking back: What did my generation gain from the TV invasion – or better yet, what did we keep?
Comedies like, I Love Lucy, nature shows, and illustrated cartoons spurred the imagination of this young girl. Sunday nights brought the Sound of Music and the finest of entertainment to our family gatherings. Television, at its best, provided memories and information that will last a lifetime. Instant popcorn and boxed pizza made their way into living rooms across the country as society bent in the direction of its leader. Television offered forms of entertainment and connection that satisfied beyond measure and has left an imprint on our souls. I thank the writers of quality entertainment and creative thought. Their work has impacted my life for the better.
Today: We, as communicators, have the privilege of creating content that will span the course of time. Generations of readers may take our words, thoughts and ideas and weave them into the framework of their own lives. Quality entertainment and substantial content will in turn, be passed from this generation to the next – potentially leaving an indelible imprint on the hearts of generations to come. Society is poised to consume our words, “…fitly spoken in due season.” Proverbs 25:11
Readers, sifting through the rubble of recycled information online may find our writings – fresh and timely. “Like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11
OR – we can join the masses and produce busywork for the soul – and in the end, become a distraction from what matters most.
The choice is ours with each post, image, tweet and message we send through the airwaves.
May the Lord find us faithful and may we each enjoy the produce of a fruitful life. It’s my prayer that the voices of today become the bedrock of tomorrow. Let us use this God ordained opportunity to lay a foundation of truth and faith for those who will build their lives tomorrow.
“To whom much is given, much is required.” Luke 12:48