I am guilty. Guilty of sitting in a cafe with my husband but holding a conversation with someone else on social media. Guilty of watching cute animal videos in public places. Guilty of walking the dog in the countryside without being aware of my surroundings. I admit it. I'm addicted to social media and virtual communication. I once travelled on the train up to Edinburgh holding two internet phone conversations on my laptop with two different people on two different continents. I am blown away by how small the world has become and how easy it is to connect to people all over the world.

A video on a popular social media platform prompted us to get off our phones and put social media away and have real conversations with real people. The video by Gary Turk questions the effects of social media on our society and suggests that by engaging with a virtual life we are missing out on a real life. Gary asks: "What critical moments do we miss that we didn't even know passed us by?" It is a good question. People used to know their neighbours; their concerns and needs and what made them tick. When I was brought up, we always said "Hello" to everyone we passed in the street (in fact, I still do). So let us remember that whilst it is great to connect far and wide there are people in our own community who would love some interaction with us today.

Sarah Hewitt

Asum Group Missioner