Everyone’s connected but no one is connecting
The human element has long been missing
Tell me, have you seen it?
—Armin van Buuren, “Alone”
This EDM song caught my attention shortly after it came out. The message is a pretty strong indictment of the down side of electronic communications—the element of human connection is missing in much of what is sent out over the electronic airwaves these days. Certainly the amount of vitriol and “dissing” of others shows a fundamental lack of awareness of the human souls on the receiving end of so many tweets and blogs.
However, there are also definite advantages to electronic communication. Most of my income is earned remotely, and everything would certainly take longer if all the documents I edit and articles I write had to be sent to clients via snail mail. I smile when I find myself wondering what my grandparents would think of the idea that I am willing to receive and make payments with money that I never see except on a computer screen!
In late April I attended the annual conference of Spiritual Directors International. This year, SDI’s conference was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico—a mere(!) 5.5 hours’ drive from my home. I also helped prepare for the conference, gathering photographic images of sacred spaces in New Mexico to be woven into electronic slide shows displayed throughout the weekend. Many of the images I gathered were transmitted to me via email, and all of them were passed on to SDI electronically.
It was the first time in probably 15 years that I had attended the SDI conference in person, and one of my major take-aways was the energy of connecting, face to face, with literally hundreds of other spiritual guides. Listening to their stories, sharing hard-earned wisdom and lingering questions, I experienced a deep sense of connection that I believe comes from sharing space and experiences together.
I also eagerly attended the workshop of a young woman whose spiritual guidance ministry is conducted exclusively via email, phone, and Skype. I was very interested in the experience and wisdom she had to share, as I am pondering my own next steps into spiritual ministry in an electronic world. Then, a few days ago, I conducted my own first spiritual guidance session via Skype.
This is a strange new world for some people, and the only known world for others. Where are you on that spectrum? Does the concept of electronic communication and ministry leave you feel disconnected, or connecting? Is God inviting you into any new communication pathways?