Have you ever learned a lesson that you should have already known? I spent the first half of this year doing exactly that.
I have heard all my life how important friends are. I have been taught since childhood that if I am to have friends, I must be a friend worth having. I have been told that friendship is key to a balanced life.
Yet, I have spent the first half of this year learning—or maybe relearning—that lesson.
Earlier this year, I invited a group of guys from my church to read through a book that had a huge impact on me. We now meet regularly to discuss our thoughts on the reading, as well as a variety of topics. In short, it has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.
So far this year, I have also been able to reconnect with friends that live far away. I get to hang out with one of these guys every few months or so. I only see another about once a year. Another, we can get together about every three years. Another, this was the first time in about ten years that we have been in the same room. In each case, our wives talked, our kids played, and we picked up right where we left off. It has been amazing.
But, then something hit me: everything I have done with my friends could be done—has been done—digitally.
I have been in discussion groups—online. I’m pretty sure we could have created some space for my reading group. I have ‘kept up’ with my long-distance friends and their families over the years—digitally. If you had asked me what they were up to, even in recent weeks, I would have been able to answer confidently.
But, here’s the thing…
When it comes to personal relationships, digital connection is a great supplement, but it is no substitution.
I would not trade the few hours I have recently spent with my friends for all the digital connectedness in the world. Here are a few reasons why. Continue reading “Personal > Digital”