22nd of February marks a campaign known as “Friend Mode Day” in Singapore. A group of students recognized that there is a need to give our utmost and undivided attention to our friends when we are with them by putting our phones down.
They explain, “Our smart phones have many ‘Modes’ such as ‘Flight Mode’ and ‘Silent Mode.’ Here, we are introducing a new mode that everyone has on their phones, regardless of brand or model of phone. We call it ‘Friend Mode’. ‘Put It On Friend Mode’ is a literal call-to-action for everyone to put their phones face down while hanging out with your friends or loved ones.”
The campaign idea came about because these students observed that many people are glued to their mobile phones. They are hooked to the games or the social media feeds to such an extent that face-to-face interaction is compromised.
Are you one of those? Have you ever had that feeling of not being able to stay away from your phone? Are you making those frequent checks to see if someone has texted you or that someone has liked your photo? You know you are addicted to your phone when you suffered from withdrawal symptoms when your phone run out of battery or when it took a dip in the toilet, leaving you phoneless for days.
It got me thinking, If we give so little attention to our friends or family around the dinner table, what little time do we give to God himself? The amount of time we spend using our phones could have been better used for engaging in the most meaningful conversation with God or for having a great time absorbing God’s Word. Perhaps, we have gotten so bogged down by social media that we’ve forgotten that God is that “friend” sitting right opposite us, waiting for us to lift our heads to look at Him. He is the friend we need not message to and wait for a second tick to appear (Whatsapp users will know what I mean).
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’ ” (Matthew 4:4 esv). If we were to put it into today’s context, we can read it as “Man shall not live in the presence of social media alone, but by every chance we get from God to spend time with Him.”
God says in Isaiah 55:3, “Incline your ear, and come to me.” He wants us to pay close attention to Him. He wants us to follow his Tweets and Retweet recorded in His Word. He wants us to follow closely His instagram, which is the beautiful creation (#nofilter needed) around us. He wants us to be tuned to Him at all times.
Man has only really started making communication easier for everyone, but God begun it more than 2,000 years ago. The question is: Will we give Him our attention?