You tweeted it but were you there?

I was reading through some tweets on Twitter and came across this one posted by the Sisters of Bethany:

‘Some of the greatest moments of our lives are being swept into technology rather than being in the moment’ (Kelly Hoppen)

It caught my attention and stayed with me. I love social media, it’s part of what I do for work and I could write freely about the benefits it can bring, but as with everything it can become something that hinders rather than helps.

I was out walking through the flowering heather towards a group of beautiful Exmoor ponies. The sun was shining, the temperature just right, surrounded by nature, idyllic. I sat down to enjoy the moment, reached into my bag, took out my iPhone and photographed the scene, added a status update and posted it to Facebook and then, while I sat there, glanced at tweets and emails that had come through before putting my phone in my bag and wandering on. I’d photographed it, I’d shared the moment with others but had I actually been there – had I experienced the moment?

I had been physically present, but what if I had left my phone in my bag and instead taken those moments to look and take in the scene? C.S. Lewis said, “for the present is the point at which time touches eternity” and I can understand that. By stopping briefly I would have allowed my eyes to see, my ears to hear and my heart to respond with thanks to God. I would have felt the beauty of His creation, His gift to me, to us and I could have shared that moment with God.

Social media has many roles to play but I’ve realised it’s important to stop and experience those moments myself and with God before I lose myself in technology.