The teenagers at our church recently did a play for Christmas, and in it one of the sound effects was supposed to be a dial-up internet sound. They had NO IDEA what that sounded like. The other teen leader and I (who were their age when dial-up was first found in homes) tried our best to recreate the sound with our voices. The two of us erupted in laughter as we saw their looks of utter confusion. One of the boys whipped out his smart phone and pulled up a sound clip of the dial-up sound. They all listened in horror, and declared it to be the worst sound ever. Connecting to the internet never sounded so horrible. “Something from a horror movie,” they said.
I still smile when I think about how times have changed and I reminisce about being back in high school listening to the dial-up internet waiting to connect. At the time I didn’t mind waiting to connect, but today it seems I get impatient if I don’t open my laptop and the WiFi bars aren’t immediately lit up.
When did we lose sight of the idea of connecting being a longer process? We are the culture of instant. Instant food. Instant entertainment. Instant global access. Instant connection.
But connection really takes time. We can’t just click the “friend request” button and expect a relationship. Connection and relationships develop over time. I was reminded of this when a friend I’ve known for 10 years came to visit. She and I talked about deep personal things, but she lives miles away now. And the people around me don’t yet have the connection yet. And its hard to relate to them. But the problem isn’t them, its me.
I’m going to stop trying to force the connection before its time. I’m going to stop expecting a relationship when its only been a few months or a couple of years. I’m going to let the connection grow. And mend and mold into whatever relationship it will become.
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