Sunday, November 9, 2008

On Authentic Living vs. Virtual Living

Yesterday, Joey and I spent the evening with our friends James and Shannon. James made a small bonfire and we enjoyed dinner by the fire and conversation that lasted well into the night. There's something so fundamental and essential about time spent together without modern diversions...and, of course, a nice fire for warmth and diversion helps also;). As James stoked the fire (only nearly singing the hair off his hands once or twice), we discussed politics, religion, society, the world's problems, nature, love...just about everything. And sometimes, we just sat and watched the fire. And, sometimes, we freaked out because Shannon's dog Cody wagged his tail a little too close to the fire!

As we were riding home late last night, Joey and I commented on how much we enjoyed the evening. There was no TV, no video game to play, no movies, not even any music...just four friends, a warm fire, something tasty to eat, and a vast black sky above....four human beings who were "forced" (for lack of better word) to interact, to carry a conversation, to build relationships.

Too often, these days, we allow video games and television to keep us from having to hold adult conversations with other people. We can reduce our interactions to a few comments about a movie or some laughs about Guitar Hero and keep ourselves safe from the danger of interacting with others in a meaningful way. How sad.

I'm not trying to promote doing away with TV, movies, and video games entirely (although I imagine that we'd surely survive if it were to happen). I enjoy a good episode of Scrubs as much as anyone else and Joey and I have been known to spend a random day playing Super Mario World all day at times, but it occurred to me that we live in an era where people would rather interact with others artificially than allow themselves to be in a social situation where they must actually genuinely connect with people without distractions.

May we never get to the point where we'd rather spend time in front of a computer or a TV in a "virtual world" (read: FAKE world), than sitting around a warm fire with good friends.

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