The bulletin invited visitors to pick up a brochure from the "tract rack" or visit the congregation's Web site to learn more about its ministry. The stark contrast struck me. My generation is familiar with tract racks, but my young adult children would hardly know what they are. They wouldn't seek out literature there.
Yet Web site visits are a daily occurrence for many. Our 15-year-old daughter, like many of her peers, prefers instant messaging to the telephone. Communicating by computer with several friends simultaneously makes the telephone seem almost outdated.
Have the means of our communication become a more defining characteristic of who we are than our message? The faster our methods for communicating, the less we attend to content. The reporter waits for the sound bite rather than quote a more complex response. How often do brief voice mail messages replace extended conversation? Is not one of today's tragic ironies that the more sophisticated and instant our means of communication, the more isolated and alienated we are?
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