Does connection mean experience? (Nov 2013)

originally posted November 2013

Well I am “connected”, does that count?

I tweet, I am on facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, classmates, Skype, and cafe-mom to name a few

I have learned by blackboard on tiger-tracks, on myluthernet and more with classmates in Turkey, Norway, Australia and China.

I blog on blogger,  yelp, and google+.

I share books and pics and songs and more through goodreads, instagram and YouTube

I read on my kindle and ipad, sharing notes with other readers I have never met.

I learn about makeup and crafts and see what my daughter is drawing lately through pinterest and deviantart.

I resource my sermons through a broad number of sites for history, scripture, sermon style, and public speaking.

I email and text, I even teach using google+ and YouTube.

But…. am I experienced? I don’t know.  I know how to use analytics and I blog more than randomly. I work Veteran suicide prevention with a team that is all over the world simultaneously.  But  am I making a connection that is real?

My favorite movie is 10 Things I Hate About You– I loved it before most people know who Heath Ledger was… and my favorite line is this:

Tell me something true, tell me something real, something no one else knows. 

On my worst days, I curl into my husbands arms and softly whisper these words.  He knows that means it has been a day I only want to cry over.  That I have seen through my eyes, through a screen through my phone and my monitor that the world is a sad, broken, hurting, and devastated place.  It is bereft of hope and in those moments, I sure as heck feel connected.

But then someone I love dies.  And there is no connection.  I can post my pain, I can blog up a storm- but the community I have built- it can reach into my heart, but it does not pat my shoulder, it does not make me a cup of hot tea and tell me to curl up on the couch for a nap and good cry.  It does not deliver dinner for a break, it does not pick up sick kids from school.  And I wonder- is anybody out there.

And considering all this, that I know what it is to be connected and also alone in this great big cyber world, then yes. I would say, I am experienced too.

Learn more about the idea of “understanding how deeply relational and embodied learning is” and why this matters to a seminarian by reading Engaging Technology in Theological Education by Mary Hess, 2005.

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