Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott

FACE-TO-FACE Vol 9 No 21

June 15, 2010

Dear Friend,

I have been thinking about the ways in which some of our interpersonal relationships are being affected by the use of online social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs and a host of other such means of connecting with people.

Clearly they have added many venues of communication, reconnected old friends, helped new friendships form and offer a way of keeping in touch.  At the same time we are learning that as the time spent with such computer-based connectivity increases, the time spent in the actual presence of others has the potential of decreasing.
While I have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, I realize that posting a few mildly interesting updates may be interesting to some people, yet they have little of the power of interpersonal presence. There simply is nothing like personal presence, of being face-to-face and eye-to-eye with people.
What has me thinking about this is the word of the Apostle John to dear Christian people in his very short second letter, “I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face-to-face, so that our joy may be complete.” II John 1:12* John knew the power of the face-to-face friendship.
When we type words to one another on our computer screens and on our cell phones, they don’t convey the nuances of our tone of voice, our many facial expressions or allow the sheer power of the experience of being with another person.  So as you use the social media at your disposal to connect with people, also be sure you are getting face-to-face time, too, or at least connections of voice-to-voice!
Our great hope in Jesus is that we shall see him face-to-face.  “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3