The hyperconnection we are seeing creates for us a massive amount of choice, which, in turn, has an impact on our relationships. How many of us have been frustrated in a conversation with someone who’s picked up their phone to check a text or an email that has just arrived? Hyperconnection is the experience of having too much control, literally too many choices, in our interpersonal connections. If a computer is overloaded and running too many applications or programmes it will grind to a halt. Human hyperconnectivity has a similar effect as we become lost in a sea of connections. Many times our relationships fail due to our inability to be cautious about potentially unhealthy voyeuristic connections. This hyperconnected state makes relational focus a massive challenge.
One of the dangers of living in the hyperconnected world is our friend’s turn into our audience members and we turn into performers. Self-exposure is the currency of Facebook, twitter and other social networking sites. Although there are clear dangers of this hyperconnectedness, there also are some unique opportunities for us to share the gospel in new creative ways. An exciting project took place over Christmas that told the nativity in a 140 characters, called “the Natwivity”. The story of Joe, Mary, the Wisemen and the rest of the characters was an intriguing way of communicating the gospel to a new and varied audience. Social networking sites allow us to be connected in a way that has never seen before. We should be aware of the challenges but also aware of the fantastic new opportunities of communicating the good news of Jesus. But challenge is not supposed to be ignored. Jesus was the master of relationships. He seems to have this incredible ability to speak so clearly and simply and yet sometimes in these incomprehensible riddles. A clear trait of Jesus’ ministry was His complete understanding of connection. We see him speak honestly into the lives of all he met and make these immediate, life-transforming connections in a short space of time. He pulled and drew people in rather than pushing them away. A great example of His holistic understanding of relationships can be seen in His interaction with the woman at the well. This interaction sees him speak powerfully into her life and build a lasting connection in a short period of time. A challenge that Jesus’ life has given us is that connections with people are paramount to living a successful Christian life. Hyperconnection allows us to have connections with large amounts of people but also allows for us to be less committed to genuine connections. Jesus challenges us to care about the quality of our connection and not about quantity.