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Free & Fit Challenge 2018 - Our Communication - by Tim Chew

Free & Fit Challenge 2018 - Our Communication - by Tim Chew 

Podcast Version now available. Opening prayer and three passages of scripture before “Our Communication” Message. 

Opening Prayer 

Father I thank you that we can meet together digitally but I pray tonight that this message would touch our hearts and our human interactions so that we are encouraged and inspired to meet together face to face. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

I said, “Have mercy on me, Lord; heal me, for I have sinned against you.” My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die and his name perish? ” When one of them comes to see me, he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander; then he goes out and spreads it around. All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worst for me, saying, “A vile disease has afflicted him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.” Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. But may you have mercy on me, Lord; raise me up, that I may repay them. I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen. Psalm 41:4-13 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21 Free & Fit Challenge - Our Communication In a world of digital media and a huge reduction in face to face human interaction social media dulls, reduces and dehumanizes our society. The level of controversy, conflict and confusion continues to surround multimedia and internet based global corporations in relation to both political and international agendas. As a mass population of people this influences our responses, judgements, real life outlook and expectations of each other. 

Currently I teach grades 1 through 12 in New York City and find that a lot of the Youth I interact with are subdued, distracted or inconsolable because the digital world they see is not the reality they live in. The recent movie release of Ready Player One portrays a modern interpretation of the future and how people will be able to interact with each other in an alternate universe similar to the Matrix. However, even in this movie the founder of the game states that the Oasis alternative reality is not as good the real world. Its the only place where you can eat, physically meet and sleep. So whether you are using instant chat, on a video call or just in the local movie theatre the reality is you are in an alternative reality. 

Film, music, media or the arts are amazing gifts, but if not used in moderation can deprive us of human interaction. Findings from a study at Eton University suggest that technology has a negative effect on both the quality and quantity of face-to-face communication. Despite individuals’ awareness of the decrease of face-to-face communication as a result of technology, more than 62% of individuals observed on Elon’s campus continue to use mobile devices in the presence of others. Our identity as human beings, our inner souls, our desires and interactions with each other are changing dramatically. Our ability to offer people our undivided attention is reduced, our attention span is declining, our human emotions are nulled and we becoming more and more addicted to digital media. Our face to face communication is becoming a thing of the past and baby boomers are becoming more and more frequently frustrated with millennial behaviors and thought patterns which are alien to them. My mentors and wise friends have a far greater influence on me when I am fully engaged in a conversation with them, not distracted and off of my phone. Yet it remains constantly a struggle for us today to switch off our phones. Even when walking, traveling or at work. It is sometimes perceived today to be more socially awkward to not answer the phone or reply to an instant message, but in a more traditional face to face age of communication it would be perceived the other way. How times have changed! Going to meet somebody at the library, have a coffee, play outside sports or go out to dinner are far less popular activities today than a phone call, text message, watch tv, email or social media.

This is displayed in a study by the Department if Labor in the United States which outlines that 2 hours snd 47 minutes are used for watching television and only 41 minutes is used to socialise and physically interact with others. Greater engagement in outdoor leisure activity in Japan and physical activity was significantly associated with a lower likelihood of psychological distress. The results from a research study indicate that engaging in leisure-time activities, especially in outdoor leisure and physical activities, may be an effective means of promoting public health. However, people are starting to prefer instant contact rather than uninterrupted human encounters. I am guilty of this and struggle to find a way out. I have to be more aware of this and the potential, if not already detrimental, negative influence on my relationships and learn to switch off and tune in more with my friends and family. Our reactions, our responses, and our realities are constantly changing. What we define as good and evil is also being perversely impacted by digital media and social influences. The people we often used to turn are replaced with digital influencers, popular social media trends, hashtags or emojis. Human intimacy is replaced with digital intimacy, rapidly humans are being replaced by computers not just in jobs, transport and retail, but in places of relationships and personal communication. Where we travel or visit is no longer monitored by our photography or photo albums, but by our digital footprint, mobile phone devices, apps and electronic tracking technologies. Movie trailers, audio books, discount sales and various different technological progressive promotions are changing the way in which we act and interact as a human race. Our communication channels are rapidly changing and as such as our responses and our ability to acknowledge a basic need for human intimacy is reduced. We are lacking physical touch, love, complements, hellos, please, thank you and just good old fashioned “Good Day.” My call is for us today is to make a difference, stop investing in our digital appearance and focus on our human communication. Lets develop real life friendships, build deep and meaningful relationships and interact with friends, family and our neighbors around us. Social media and digital communication isnot evil and if used in the right way can improve lives, ease long distance relationships and improve communication. However, if abused, used as the only social outlet to interact with others it can change you and cause you to miss out on the reality and beauty of human relationships. So lets not be giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another in face to face communication. My personal favorite form of communication is prayer. When I speak to my heavenly Father he is always willing to listen and is always available to me. My encouragement to you is to stay in touch with your own friends and family. Whether you have faith or none, don’t lose your faith and hope in humanity. I love this teaching from Romans which helps me to communicate with others. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Please don’t misunderstand me. Digital media is not evil, nor is film, music, multimedia or any form of technology let me make that clear. Just if overused it can become an addiction, misused and become a negative impact in your life. So lets not be misguided, lets give high fives, handshakes, hugs, smiles, eye contact and good human interactions. Remember do not be overcome by digital media, but overcome digital media with real authentic human interactions! Thanks for listening and watch our for my next podcast next Week. Closing Prayer Lord may you continue to have mercy on us all, Lord; raise us as a humanity up. We know that you are pleased with us, for our enemy does not triumph over us and you uphold us and please Lord set us in your presence forever. References Prev Med Rep. 2016 Dec; 4: 1–5. Published online 2016 Apr 22. doi:  10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.04.007 PMCID: PMC4929052 PMID: 27413653 Masato Toyoshima,a,b,⁎ Yoshihiro Kaneko,a and Yutaka Motohashic aDepartment of Public Health, Akita University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1-1 Hondo, Akita 010-8543, Japan Charts from the American Time Use Survey Beginning June 27, 2017 the American Time Use Survey charts have changed. To see the new annual ATUS charts, please visit the ATUS Charts page. Last Modified Date: June 27, 2017 The Effect of Technology on Face-to-Face Communication by Emily Drago — 13 The Effect of Technology on Face-to-Face Communication Emily Drago Strategic Communications Elon University

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