A few days ago I had an opportunity to teach a seminar on Social Media for a group of teenagers. I am constantly stymied at how the internet, along with all its tentacles of apps and connectivity, is plugging into our lives and bit by bit; piece by piece is taking over.
The smartphones that many of those teenagers own are almost the equivalent of that person’s soul being carried around outside their body, protected by an Otterbox case. If you think that I’m wrong try to take a cell phone off of a kid. One time when I had to confiscate a phone from a student who was abusing it, she ripped open the back of the pink envy phone, covered in sequins and glitter, pulled the battery out and put the shiny grey item down her pants so that nobody could access the deep recesses of her inner being……or her photo reel, while it was in the possession of adults.
As I was talking to the group I made many controversial statements (as is my custom) however one elicited a response that I wasn’t ready for.
When I firmly stated “In the future, when you get married, your spouse MUST have access to all of your social media accounts at ALL times” many of the middleschoolers mouths fell open in flagrant disbelief, as if I had asked them to cut off an arm or gouge out their right eye.
I have seen far too many marriage relationships get wrecked by old high school sweethearts who creep into their lives through late night messages, promising an escape from the mundanacity of monogamy and before they know it they are rendezvousing with their old flame in some seedy motel outside the view of the community, while their spouse rocks their newborn to sleep wondering how that business meeting went so very late.
A few days ago my wife and I got matching iPhones, an event that’s been long overdue. At the advice of a trusted friend we decided to share the same iTunes account and thus EVERYTHING on our smartphones. We share the same calendar and contacts. In the middle of the day, after iCloud has synced I am pleasantly surprised to find pictures of my boys playing on the couch together, or odd pictures of my Pug wearing wigs or glasses; pictures that I did not take. There is even an app that allows us to know where each other’s phone is on a digital map at all times of the day or night, just by clicking a button.
Somebody told me that this was creepy; I however believe that it’s how things ought be in married life.
If I need to hide it from my wife, I shouldn’t be doing it.
We are one flesh in the eyes of God; it would do us well to live as such online as well.