How being connected is linked to being rude

The tech companies in Silicon Valley have become fully aware that when people are too connected technologically, they tend to be disrespectul and even rude to each other. This article from the LA Times explains how more and more tech companies are banning laptops and other personal electronic devices (cell phones, etc.) from the meeting room. The reason is that when every participant in the meeting has a laptop or device in front of him/her and is connected to e-mail and the internet, they don't really interact with the other human beings in the room.

One person in the story complains that he would spend hours preparing a presentation, only to be virtually ignored when he presented it to the too-busy executives who were talking to everyone else electronically while they paid him only partial attention.

I'm no enemy of technology, but I know that we can only pay attention to so many sources of input at any one time. And when one of the sources of input is a human being sitting in front of you, to ignore him or her is to say, "You are not very important to me right now." And this is exactly the opposite of the way of Jesus. Loving your neighbor requires paying full attention to your neighbor. The way of Jesus is agape love, and agape includes listening and making eye contact. Kudos to Silicon Valley for reqiuring their people to interact with each other! May we Christians never forget the power of close listening.

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