Many have observed how so many people we encounter today are literally absent from their surroundings, talking on their cellphone to someone else who is somewhere else. It’s perfectly understandable. Why not converse with someone we want to talk to while doing or going somewhere else that we are not wanting to be or do, or have to do as our work demands or our schedule suggests.
The ability to be somewhere else, with people other than the group that surrounds us, usually strangers, does present some opportunity to further extend the “time of dialogue” and help prepare the way for conversation that is ready to invade the face-to-face time. And its a way to maintain a connection with others who are seeking to let themselves be formed in new ways, as the life of the community is constantly inviting us to do (this is a key part of that role of the church to be a people who are working to overcome their addictions to the culture. So there is a great deal of cultural analysis from a Scriptural perspective; a Scripture which has been getting interpreted in community and by a community which recognizes the countercultural message of that story which is God’s story living in the people of Israel and in Jesus.