facetime vs. face time

A couple of weeks ago, we picked up our daughter, her husband and our 8 month old granddaughter at the airport. They live in Guatemala and serve as missionaries at an orphanage there.  When both my wife and I held our granddaughter, she very deliberately grabbed our faces with both of her hands while she looked at us. This was a very distinct action on her part and, of course, we loved it. Once she held our faces for a few seconds, she seemed satisfied and started her usual gawking around at what was happening around her.

Our daughter is very faithful to be sure that we get plenty of Skype or video call time with Sophia. About 5 times a week, we get to see her and talk to her. She always has a smile or two for us while we try to connect with her via the Internet.

I think that Sophia was touching our faces just to be sure that we were there, in the flesh, rather than on the computer.  Once she was assured that she could touch us, she was good to go.

This is not a treatise on the evils of virtual connections. In fact, had we not spent all of that time on Internet chat, she would not have even known us.

I am convinced that both electronic and physical connections are necessary.

Now, let’s apply that principle in all of our relationships. If all of our relationships are on a flat screen, there is no human touch. One can’t feel your breath, can’t shake your hand, can’t make love to you. (Virtual or cyber sex is merely self-pleasure with someone watching.) We need human contact. Flesh touching flesh. Too many days without face-to-face human interaction is unhealthy.

Real life does not allow us to be in the same location, all the time, with the people in our lives. Staying connected through technology is a must. If we rely solely on the times when we can touch our friends and family, our relationships will suffer.

We need both! In proper balance, we need to build our relationships using our computers and our skin. One without the other is only half-way living.

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