Are We Losing Our Relational Quotient?

IQ (Intellectual Quotient). Sure, we have heard of that. There are even contemporary studies of our EQ (Emotional Quotient).  But, what about our RQ (Relational Quotient)? Especially as it relates to our social media use. We have heard it all before. That teens (and the Millenials) are anti-social and poor communicators. They are over-stimulated and under-relational. They get their information from an unreliable network of peers and lack critical thinking skills. They are correcting the boredom of the last generation and setting their own course with 24/7 access. Could it be a loss of RQ?

Maybe this is all fair and accurate. But, like many other social issues of our day, this is a stream that is flowing way too fast and gaining much more acceptance than anyone could contend against. Let alone reverse. Just the fact that mobile batteries don't last long enough says it all. Maybe you have heard it said, "If you are looking for your i-phone, check the end of your charger." I just finished reading an article in Forbes Magazine about the media use of teens and how it is effecting their lives. Here are a few thoughts (and my responses) from the article:

Millenials: They Aren’t So Tech Savvy After All 
"Conventional wisdom has it that kids and young adults now coming of age have been so steeped in everything from video games to social networking that they bring amazing new technology skills to the workforce. The truth may not be so rosy."

I have always felt that the greatest work ethic we bring to our vocational calling is not social media or social networking. It is social behavior and social relationships. People skills are the standard by which great employees or teams are measured. But, even though our emotional and intellectual quotient may be high, our relational quotient is much too low today. Just because the Mills are spending 7 hours daily on social media doesn't mean that is educational time.

"Even as millenials (those born and raised around the turn of the century) enter college with far more exposure to computer and mobile technology than their parents ever did, professors are increasingly finding that their students' comfort zone is often limited to social media and Internet apps that don’t do much in the way of productivity."

One of the lost traits of our generation is ideas. And those come from discussion. Sometimes, the best place to get an idea is a conversation. The collaboration of people coming together and sharing how they feel about something from their personal worldviews. If we continue to talk in 140 characters we could lose our ideas. Sure, this brevity can be great for marketing and advertising purposes, but, what about conversation?

So, what do we do about it? Here are 4 steps to productive social media habits:

1. Periodic media 'fasts' - Begin with one day weekly without social media. And create daily moments also where you unhook and go wireless-LESS.

2. Talk to friends as much as you text friends - You know, push the numbers on the phone more than you push the letters. How often have you pushed the 'call' or 'send' button this week?

3. When the battery is dead stop using the phone - For some of you that would be by lunchtime! So, use it wisely. Place more importance on the live people you bump into every day.

4. If you cannot do any of the above - At least use your phone for personal encouragement and ministering to others. Every week I choose 5 people to bless on social media through my prayers or words.

Of course I recognize that not many of you will try these. This is a panacea. But, if we could just get teens to see the value of technology productivity, and, not just technology amusement, we could make some great strides. If the social media generation is going to dodge this relational-LESS tag, they must change habits. We need a revolution of our Relational Quotient badly in this generation.