connectHow We Connect These Days

Moments ago, Pedro finished eating his second serving of Eggplant Tagine with Mint and Cilantro over a serving of buttery couscous. I made supper using a Moroccan cooking dish that our Chinese daughter gave us for Christmas.

Pedro set down his fork and said, “It’s time to chillax. Shall we watch another episode of Poldark?”

I glanced at my watch. “I think it’s time for my Twitter party,” I said. “Can we watch it when I finish?”

He picked up his dishes and carried them to the dishwasher. “I have absolutely zero idea what a Twitter party is.”

“I feel so hip,” I said with a smirk.

“It’s hip to be square.” He smirked back.

The world grew smaller between when I entered it and where I sit now—at a computer, participating in a Twitter party. I entered the world before the first personal computer made its appearance. Those didn’t come along until my second year of high school. And now, the world can connect through computers they carry around in their pockets.

Yes, I’d call a smart phone a computer. My smart phone can accomplish more and has more memory than my first PC—a Mac Plus I purchased my senior year of college back in 1986.

Along with the crazy technology comes a plethora of apps that connect us even more. Over Christmas vacation, our youngest daughter introduced me to WhatsApp.

I can’t claim that I really ‘get’ it—it seems like the same thing as instant messaging via whatever program Apple uses on the iPhones. But, I installed it and used it because Sarah didn’t know if texting would work when we turned her data off when she went to Brazil.

Connecting Leads to…Connections

On Christmas, Sarah arranged a live video chat with me over WhatsApp where we met her Brazilian friend, Henrique. The video only froze a time or two, and it reminded me of how difficult it had been to connect via video back when Pedro had cancer. Back then, we mostly had dial-up Internet, which frequently froze and frustrated us to no end.

And on Tuesday, Sarah and Henrique arranged for a second video chat to share the news that Henrique had asked Sarah to marry him. Their announcement didn’t surprise me.You can choose to connect with compassion and grace. http://wp.me/p7W1vk-8z

I knew they spent a lot of time hanging out on WhatsApp (a mutual Internet friend had added Sarah to a WhatsApp group about a year and a half ago). Through their online group conversations, they got better acquainted and eventually started talking directly to each other. Which lead to them calling each other via the app and even watching movies together in Portuguese.

Last year when Sarah and I did the #write31days series together about her struggle with a mental illness, Henrique friended me on Facebook. We’ve chatted a time or two on Facebook Instant messaging, too. So sometime next year, after Sarah and Henrique graduate from college, they’ll get married.

In the meantime, they will continue to connect via the Internet. Henrique plans on visiting the States in December so that the rest of the family can meet him in person. Pedro can’t wait to take him off-roading and mountain biking.

The world has certainly shrunk—and that’s a good thing in many ways. We can spread the good news of salvation in so many more ways than back in the olden days, or we can also spread hate and vitriol in the blink of an eye.

We can choose to connect by sharing what uplifts, enlightens, and promotes understanding OR we can kill each other with words. #fmfparty Click To Tweet

New Year’s Resolution

The possibilities to connect in good and bad ways boggle the mind. If we all do our part, we can make sure to use the gift of technology to draw us together as humans and promote understanding. I will take extra care to only retweet and like what uplifts, enlightens, and helps the world learn to get along better. Otherwise, we’ll find ourself filled with strife in sandbox. That’s my New Year’s resolution.

What is yours?

25 Comments

  1. Congratulation, mother-in-law-to-be!

    Great post, though my connections tend to be limited to blogging and email. My computer’s too slow to really do much with Twitter and Facebook, and I don’t have a phone.

    But as the ability to connect face-to-face has gone away due to illness, I’m not lonely – because the connections online are in many ways more real and vital than any friendships I’ve ever had.

    #2 (and your neighbour!) at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/01/your-dying-spouse-255-why-not-give-up.html
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 255 – Why Not Give Up? {FMF}My Profile

  2. How much fun! 😀 My resolution/goal/word is prayer. I often talk about praying but don’t always follow through. I want to be intentional about prayer this year.

    Congratulations on your good news. 😉

    Hugs,
    Melinda
    (Visiting from FMF)

  3. Wow, Anita. You’re going to become a mother-in-love. That is so exciting. And your daughter has an amazing smile!

    I love how we are able to stay connected in ways I never would have dreamed in my growing up years. I haven’t heard of WhatsApp. I’m glad you mentioned it. 🙂 I am sure whatever else the next couple years hold, change will be a significant part of those days. I”m so glad you’ll be able to stay connected with Sarah and Henrique, whatever may come. 🙂

    Happy New Year, my friend!

  4. I have heard of What’sApp but I’ve never used it. I might need to check it out. Amazing how one can connect through the web these days. It truly is amazing. I’m in the 9 spot this week.

  5. Anita, congratulations on your new son in law! You’re right, computers have changed our way of connecting quite a bit. And I’m not always sure it’s for the better.
    WhatsApp is a big deal here in Germany, everyone uses it instead of texting. But this also means that everyone is always on their phones and not really talking to you. There are also major privacy concerns.

    Also, I somehow missed that you have a new site, it looks so great! Enjoy writing in 2017!

  6. First, I love your header photo and new site design!

    Second, I appreciate how you pointed us to the good of the internet and social media. It’s tempting to think that the while thing is a black hole sometimes. But real relationship can grow and flourish via this incredible technology that God implanted into the imagination of mankind. Thankful I am able to know you through it!

  7. What exciting news! Congratulations! I know exactly what you mean. What’s App has made the world smaller for me, too. I am in almost constant communication with my Kenyan friends these days because of it. It makes doing ministry with them so much easier, too!

  8. Hi Anita,

    Just like anything, technology can be a force of good or of evil. “We can spread the good news of salvation in so many more ways than back in the olden days, or we can also spread hate and vitriol in the blink of an eye.” So so true. The possibilities to radiate light are many yet the temptation to stay in darkness seduces. Congratulations on the upcoming wedding! I also hopped over to your 31 days of Mental illness writing because that caught my eye. My daughter also has bipolar and has been hospitalized. Ministering to families affected by Mental Illness is a passion of mine. I have written about it as well. I look forward to connecting with you more on that.
    Stephanie Thompson recently posted…Why Connecting With Others In a Self Absorbed Culture Makes an ImpactMy Profile

  9. Congratulations on your daughter’s engagement. And I LOVE your New Year’s resolution. The online world would be a much more positive place if everyone did that. Blessings!

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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