I am grateful for the number of phone or web meetings I find myself in these days. To not have to drive a couple of hours to a meeting, and a couple of hours back, for a thirty-five-minute meeting suits me just fine. The amount of time I avoid spending on the road allows me to accomplish much more here in my office. I usually would spend the time on my drive listening to a book, so that is a loss. Still, I’d rather skip the travel time, and accomplish more work.
I have been noticing something in these meetings, though. I’m noticing how some of the folks who attend are much more emboldened to speak up in a phone meeting, or a web meeting, than they were when we met face-to-face. I wonder what it is about this format of a meeting that frees their tongues. Is there something about not having to look someone in the eye, which causes folks to open up more? Do some of us lose our inhibitions when we don’t concern ourselves with the look on others faces?
I’ve noticed the same thing seems to happen in the arena of social media. People I know who don’t open up much in person, are able to share much more freely of their thoughts and beliefs on Facebook, or Twitter. Why is this?
I first noticed this on social media when my high school friends and I connected. People who never spoke of their faith in school seemed to openly express their delight in Jesus, the way Christ has moved in their life, and the sincere hope they have of others finding faith in our Lord. Initially, I began to think they, like me, had had profound encounters with Christ since high school. Then, I encountered them in person and found them mostly silent about their faith.
Most people experience meaningful moments of moving closer to Christ because of in-person interactions with people of faith. For most folks, seeing your face, and the way your eyes light up when you speak of the delight you find in Jesus impacts them deeply. Dare I say, face-to-face impacts more deeply than the words they might find on your Facebook or Twitter page?
Don’t stop extolling the virtues of our Lord online. Just be sure to follow it up with one-on-one conversations, which can move folks even deeper.
Grace and Peace,