Edgies’ Reflections – Kelly Bishop

Kelly Bishop, EDGE Program

Kelly Bishop, EDGE Program

Kelly Bishop shares about her experiences on the EDGE Program and the cultural differences between American and Spaniards, particularly regarding social media.

I am a proud American. I like being from the United States. However, I am not ignorant to our vices. Normally I would not want to choose a cultural norm I have witnessed that is also a downfall in the States. But, one thing that really sticks out is the lack of cell phone use here. Very rarely have I see someone walking along the street and talking on their cell phone. Very rarely has one of my Spanish friends pulled out their phone during coffee/lunch/drinks to check their Instagram or Facebook. And they definitely notice how often we do it. One of my friends visited California last fall and he could not believe that Americans are on their phones while driving. He thought it was so stupid. Whoops. The people here are very relational, I am sure that plays a huge part in keeping their cell phones in their pockets. Why would you need to be virtually social when you can be physically social in that moment? 

On Thursday our house (Casa Mamas) hosted the community meal; it was delicious, obviously. At each community meal, the house who hosts is in charge of creating a question to ask the group – something to make the conversation around the table a little more intentional. It can be something profound or something light. Or a mixture of the two, like our first question at our meal 2 weeks back. Gracie came up with it, “How do you see God’s love through your favorite pizza topping?”. Funny yet poignant.

Anyway, this week our question was “If you could have one wish for the world what would it be?”. And we made a disclaimer that of course we all wish for food and clean water etc., so it can’t be that. Everybody’s answers were funny or deep or unique.

I had invited my friend Ana, whom I met last summer. She is 19 and super sweet. Her answer was so beautiful. She said she would have it so that everyone was on social media a whole lot less, and people instead spent their time traveling and meeting new people in real life and doing things like our community meal where we talk and laugh and take time to get to know one another. But how interesting that she saw something beautiful in our time that is actually kind of a contrast to American culture.

We are all about social media, infinitely more than they are here in Spain. It was so cool because she really did see something special in our time together. She kept writing it off as Californians being open and friendly because she knew our group from last year and felt the same way about them. I did slip it in that I think it has more to do with our faith and we want to share God’s love and we try to bring an inviting atmosphere of joy because that is what God wants. Who knows if she received that. I’ll have to pray God opens opportunities there.

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