Posted in Christianity, Life, Thoughts

Communication

Confession: As soon as someone starts complaining about social media, I start tuning them out.

This is a problem. I realize that. They could still have valuable insights and wisdom that I could learn from (maybe on this topic, maybe on other topics). And discounting everything they have to say is unkind on my part. I’m trying to work on it. At times more successfully than at other times…

Still. Allow me to explain a bit.

My close friends all live at least somewhat far away. Most of them do not even live in the same state as I do. I can’t randomly drop by for an hour to chat. I can’t give – and receive – regular hugs. I can’t help out when they’re sick.

But chatting on Facebook (and texting, though that’s not the focus of this post) lets me communicate regularly anyway. I can at least listen when a friend has a bad day. I can hear about the everyday sorts of events that happen in their lives. I can share things that I think will make them laugh.

These are all ways of reminding each other, “Hey. I love you. I care about what’s happening in your life. I want to spend time and energy on you even though I’m not around.”

And if you think these ways of communicating are inherently shallow, I will fight you. You will win, because I am not skilled at any sort of fighting, but you will not change my mind. Some of the most intimate conversations I have had with friends have happened over the internet.

So you see, when someone starts talking about how social media is useless, or only ever drives people apart, or is always harmful, I don’t simply disagree; they are discounting an incredibly important portion of my life. And since they are not taking my treasured relationships – and, by extension, me – seriously, it becomes difficult to take them seriously.

This mostly (not exclusively, but mostly) seems to happen with people older than I am talking to younger generations about the dangers of social media. The thing is, I would venture to guess that almost every one of those younger people who use social media regularly would agree that it has its problems and dangers (as does every other method of communication; it’s like all the people communicating are flawed human beings who sin and make mistakes in every area of their lives, imagine that…).

So here is my point: Disparaging social media is likely to simply alienate a large portion of the younger generations instead of creating an atmosphere where they might listen to what you have to say. That’s a problem on their part, yes, but the failure to respect a valuable part of their lives is also a problem. So, no matter your age, if you wish to successfully communicate with those in the younger generations, this is an unwise – and unkind – way to go about it.

Posted in Christianity, Thoughts

God Tried

I’ve been reading the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a prophet who lived during the days of the last kings of Judah. The Babylonians were going around conquering other countries, and Judah felt threatened – for good reason, since God repeatedly warned them through Jeremiah that they would be defeated. But God kept trying to offer them ways to make it not so bad. “Repent, surrender to the Babylonians, and you will live. And don’t worry too much; I’m going to eventually bring you back to the land of Israel.”

God tried. Over and over. Every time someone asked Jeremiah what would happen, he repeated himself. The Babylonians are going to win, so just surrender.

They didn’t listen. Sad, but perhaps not surprising. Also not surprising: The Babylonians conquered the land of Judah. Many people died. Many more were taken into captivity.

And then, in Jeremiah 42, a bunch of important people came to talk to Jeremiah:

Then all the commanders of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, came near and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Let our plea for mercy come before you, and pray to the Lord your God for us, for all this remnant—because we are left with but a few, as your eyes see us—that the Lord your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do.”

Jeremiah agrees to pray and tell the people what God wants them to do, and they say, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to all the word with which the Lord your God sends you to us. Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.”

Ten days later, God gives Jeremiah an answer for them:

“Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your plea for mercy before him: If you will remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down; I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I relent of the disaster that I did to you. Do not fear the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not fear him, declares the Lord, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand. I will grant you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and let you remain in your own land. But if you say, ‘We will not remain in this land,’ disobeying the voice of the Lord your God and saying, ‘No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we shall not see war or hear the sound of the trumpet or be hungry for bread, and we will dwell there,’ then hear the word of the Lord, O remnant of Judah. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: If you set your faces to enter Egypt and go to live there, then the sword that you fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine of which you are afraid shall follow close after you to Egypt, and there you shall die. All the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to live there shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. They shall have no remnant or survivor from the disaster that I will bring upon them.”

Basically: Stay here. Trust me. I’ll take care of you. Don’t try to run somewhere that seems safer, because it won’t work.

The Israelites had been so disobedient that the ultimate disaster had happened: the Promised Land, which was supposed to belong to them, had been conquered. That’s how much they had sinned. I’m sure life seemed basically hopeless at that point.

And God still gave them another chance when they asked him what to do.

Sadly, they still did not obey. But God tried.

Posted in Life

Happy Narnia Day!

My friend Maria and I have declared May 16th Narnia Day because it’s the day the Prince Caspian movie came out (nine years ago O.o ). It’s especially pleasant when it falls on a Tuesday (we like Tuesdays).

(I’m just gonna ramble in this post, fair warning.)

I had a long day at work. It wasn’t bad. There just was not much to do and I was rather bored, so it seemed to go on forever.

We have reached the unfortunate time of year where the short amount of time it takes to walk from a building to my car makes my allergies noticeably worse. The other librarians keep saying things like, “It’s too nice to stay in; I’m going to take my break outside,” and, “Why did anyone even come to the library today?” while I’m thinking that I plan to remain indoors as much as humanly possible. Unceasing sneezing is a problem. And my ears itch and I hate it. But I’m mostly okay if I stay in.

Tonight my mom and I shopped for swimsuits for our upcoming trip to the beach and then looked through a slideshow of wedding dresses. Some of them were terrible. We laughed until we cried and could hardly talk.

And now I shall go. It’s late, and I want to finish the book I’m reading and eat my ice cream before it melts. Have a nice night. Or day, depending on when you’re reading this.

Posted in College, Life

Studio C!

According to Facebook, my friends and I discovered Studio C four years ago today. It was the end of a semester for me, and I probably spent too much time watching Studio C videos instead of studying for my finals. But I can’t say I regret it. Anyway, this seems like a good opportunity to share some favorites. I hope they make you laugh.

 

This is where it all started.

 

It really is how kids view their lives…

 

I will never see sloths the same way again.

 

In case you need a pep talk.

 

I don’t think I’m capable of saying anything to improve on this one.

 

My first favorite.

Posted in Life

Music Shuffle Game (Number 4?)

Because it has apparently become a tradition.

(Click here for the last one.)

1. If someone says, “is this okay?” you say:
Because You Love Me – Céline Dion

2. What would describe your personality?
Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold) – Dan Seals

3. What do you look for in a guy/girl?
Illusion – One Direction (That sounds like a problem…)

4. How do you feel today?
Things We Lost in the Fire – Bastille

5. What is your life’s purpose?
With You Around – Yellowcard

6. What is your motto?
What Appears – Yellowcard

7. What do your friends think of you?
Arms – Christina Perri (Is that a compliment? I can’t tell.)

8. What do you think about very often?
Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII (Orchestral Version) – Nobuo Uematsu

9. What is 2+2?
Once in a Lifetime – One Direction (At least it’s sort of a number?)

10. What do you think of your friends?
Shadows and Regrets – Yellowcard (Um…)

11. What do you think about the person you like?
The Isle of Innisfree – Celtic Thunder

12. What is your life story?
Rough Landing, Holly – Yellowcard

13. What do you want to become when you grow up?
Taken – One Direction (I think maybe I need to reconsider my aspirations.)

14. What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Don’t Forget Where You Belong – One Direction

15. What do your parents think of you?
I Gave You All – Mumford and Sons (That’s surprisingly profound, MP3 player.)

16. What will you dance to at your wedding?
Light in the Hallway – Pentatonix

17. What will they play at your funeral?
Not Gonna Die – Skillet (Okay, this is my favorite.)

18. What is your hobby/interest?
Broken Wings – Alter Bridge (Maybe this explains the rough landing life story.)

20. What is the worst thing that could happen?
Dear Bobbie – Yellowcard

21. How will you die?
Gifts and Curses – Yellowcard (Doesn’t sound fun.)

22. What is the one thing you regret?
Keeper – Yellowcard

23. What makes you laugh?
Unbecoming – Starset

24. What makes you cry?
Act My Age – One Direction (Sometimes. XD)

25. Will you ever get married?
You and Me and One Spotlight – Yellowcard (That sounds like a yes.)

26. What scares you the most?
Best Song Ever – One Direction

Posted in Life

New Job

I’m currently in my third week of my new job at the library. I’m getting paid to shelve books and check things out to people and alphabetize everything in the world. How cool is that?

All the other people who work there have been very nice. They’ve been willing to help me figure things out, and no one has made me feel silly for not knowing something or making a mistake.

This morning I was chatting with a friend on Facebook while I got ready for work. When I was ready to leave, she told me, “Enjoy yourself.”

And I realized:

Hey.

I probably will.

What a wonderful feeling.

Posted in Life, Thoughts

Introverts Need People, Too

“I think it fascinating that the introverted one needs people more than the extroverted ones, in a way.”

This is a comment a friend recently made on a story I wrote. It made me think about how rarely an introvert’s need for people is portrayed in literature. As I said last week, the general internet likes to talk about how introverts need alone time. This is true, and important. But it means many people have forgotten that introverts do also need people. And sure, there are lots of stories where the awkward loner does something cool and gains a bunch of friends, but that is not at all what an introvert needing people looks like.

It looks like a not-usually-chatty person coming home from college for the weekend and talking and talking and talking because they don’t have close enough friends at college to make them feel heard.

It looks like still wanting to spend hours talking to a close friend after a long day making small talk at work.

It looks like debating about whether to go to a social gathering, because yeah, you’re kind of lonely and you know it would do you good, but you’re also so exhausted…

Socializing does use up an introvert’s energy. But not all socializing uses the same amount of energy, and not all socializing equally satisfies the need for people.

For example, socializing with strangers or slight acquaintances uses a lot of energy and provides little satisfaction, so while it’s very often necessary, it’s not particularly helpful.

Socializing with close friends, on the other hands, uses little energy and provides lots of satisfaction, so it can potentially go on for hours or days with little need for breaks.

Then there’s the middle, people who use a moderate amount of energy and provide a moderate amount of satisfaction. The introvert likely considers these people friends, but not their closest friends. Whether they’re helpful to be around depends on what the introvert needs at the moment.

(Disclaimers:
1. There are probably some introverts who could pull off being a hermit long term. I am not one of them. And while I don’t know statistics, I doubt it’s the norm.
2. All descriptions are from personal experience. Take them with a grain of salt. Your introvert may function differently than I do.
3. Not every decision on whether or not to spend time with a person is made based on amount of available energy and need for people. Nor should every decision be made this way. But it is often a factor.)

In conclusion: Don’t forget that introverts need people, too.