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The Downside of Technology and Relationships


Scenario 1:

I’m in a crowd of people. I’ve spoken to some and ignored some others. I’ve been really good about not looking at my iPhone all night while around so many people, because of course…I don’t want to look like I don’t care about them. Then…there it is. It’s the text that rattles my phone down deep in your pocket. I reach for it, but only because it could be the sitter calling about an emergency. It’s not the sitter, and instead it’s a friend sending me a picture of his dinner at a fancy restaurant.  It’s a harmless 10 second distraction and it only happened once all night. I was good, right?

Scenario 2:

I’m in a crowd of people. I know some of them, but mostly I’m the stranger in the room. There is one guy here that I’ve been wanting to meet, so if I see him I will work up the courage to introduce myself. Oh, wait…there he is. Standing over by the entrance, and there is nobody talking to him. It’s the perfect time to… Oh,  never mind. He’s got his iPhone out and is laughing at whatever he is reading.   I guess somebody thinks their phone is more important than all these real live people in the room. That guy is such a nerd, why would you come to a room with 100’s of people and be on your phone the whole time? Jerk.

It’s the worst part of technology.

I can only be occupied with a device one minute (to the 5 hours I’m home from work), but if it’s that one minute that my 8 year old needs to go through his multiplication flash cards then it’s wrong. It could be one quick reply to that one quick text that helps someone form an incorrect opinion of me. It says, “I don’t care, because I’m on my phone.”

I’ve only seen them a few times, but every time I’ve see them they are on that stupid phone. However, what if I’m only seeing them because they’ve stepped out from a conversation to make a quick connection with the sitter at home? What if they are always on their phone because I only see them as they fly between different places? It’s really not that fair to form an opinion based on a handful of interactions, none of which involved conversation.

I’ve been on both sides of this. Have you?



Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Jared M · December 20, 2012

    This is a great point. Never really thought about it like that before (from either side).