*Coughing* “I think I got the Black Lung, Pop.” Remember that movie? My son is a mermaid. It’s mer-man Pop. A mer-man.
*coughs* I don’t know.
I mean, I can’t remember how Zoolander says it. I didn’t just endorse that movie did I?
Anyways. Here we go. Hi, my name is Father Mike Schmitz and
this is Ascension Presents. So, sometimes priests say stupid things
in homilies. Ugh, sorry, so let me clarify. Sometimes, this priest says stupid things in homilies. Actually, let me clarify. One time.
Well, probably more than one time. But one time I was using the example of
just taking it easy for an evening. And I used the phrase as like
“Yeah, sometimes after everyone’s gone from the Newman House, and I don’t have
anything else to do for the rest of the night I like to just, you know, turn on Netflix and chill. And … if you would’ve seen the people
in the congregation. The students were like “What?!”
I’m like, I know what it means. I literally meant
“I want to watch Netflix and relax, with a Lacroix.” Because these Millennials are affecting me. And I drink Lacriox all the time now.
Whatever. But it’s one of those things I’m like “No, I want to just watch Netflix and I want to relax. Is that so wrong? They’re like, no Father, that’s not wrong,
but you can’t say last Thursday night you just had Netflix and chilled,
or whatever the phrase or the verb for “had Netflix” is … just Netflix and chilled? I don’t know. Anyways, because why?
Because it doesn’t mean that. Doesn’t mean that. I knew that, but I was trying to
redeem the phrase. To, uh, “Netflix and chill” means that you
maybe swipe right on a particular app, and … Right? I think it’s right.
I don’t know – I don’t have the app. (Laughs) And the person comes over or you go over and you …
the excuse is, you’re gonna watch Netflix and just hang out. But you’re gonna turn on Netflix and then make out. Or do more than that. So it’s kind of like the idea
of the phrase “Netflix and chill” kind of encompasses a lot,
from just kind of making out a little bit to having sex.
It could be any of those things. “Hooking up” is also a phrase
that encompasses the whole deal. So when the priest says he “Netflix and chilled” it meant he just watched TV and he had a LaCroix.
I just want to clarify. Everyone knows this right now. No
one has any kind of … wonderful. We’re moving on. I was thinking more about this recently
because I just watched this documentary called ‘The Dating Project’
where it talked about this— I don’t want to say epidemic, because I’ll use
that word later on— it talked about the reality:
many of us, well, I say, many of us have lost the ability to date. Again, here the priest who doesn’t date,
is talking about this. So. Many of us have lost what Dr.
Kerry Cronin from Boston College calls “the script.” That when it comes to actually
spending time with each other, when it comes to facilitating relationships with
each other, particularly romantic relationships,
for our culture there’s no script. When I was growing up there was a script.
It was very clear. It wasn’t as clear as my grandparents.
They had a script like, maybe there’s a courtship process, maybe there’s chaperones and what-not involved. But there was a script. You walked up to someone and said
“Hey, would you want to go out?” and they would say yes or they would say no,
or they would say maybe. Even have a little thing, you could you sign the thing, would you want to date me? Yes, no, maybe. Dr. Kerry Cronin at Boston College,
she’s a professor of philosophy. She talks about how, in our culture, we have not given to the next generation “the script.” The script of here’s how you ask someone out.
And so what they’re left with is, they’re left with “I don’t know what to do.
Maybe I will just swipe right, swipe left, maybe I’ll just kind of connect, maybe I’ll hook up. And what she even describes in this documentary,
‘The Dating Project’, she talks about how people end up
having a bunch of “acci-dates.” Like where one person was actually
asking someone else out but the other person didn’t realize that
“oh this is a date” so it was an accidental date, right?
An acci-date. Or there’s just this automatic and immediate
physical intimacy in these hookups. That’s why one of her projects—I remember reading about this years ago—that she would ask her students to do for extra credit—
I think this back in the day, years ago— she would ask them to do extra credit
and the extra credit was to ask someone out on a date. But there had to be three requirements.
One was you had to do it in-person, face-to-face. Secondly, it couldn’t involve drugs or alcohol. And
third it couldn’t involve sex. She found out that after two weeks none of her students did this, and she was like, well, is it a lack of motivation?
Do you not want the extra credit? And they’re like, no, um, how do you do that?
And it wasn’t because they’re stupid. They’re at Boston College, it’s pretty good college. They didn’t know the script.
They weren’t given a script. And so what she started doing is,
she started having these relationship classes or classes about this or this lack
or this kind of dearth, this poverty when it comes to how to have a relationship. This isn’t just for college students or for young people. This is for all of us, because there is
an epidemic of loneliness. Many of us, whether we have romantic relationships
or no romantic relationships, whether we have families surrounding us
or we’re isolated and alone, we’re not able to share
the core of ourselves with many people. So the article that I read talked about this
and talked about how, oftentimes, middle-aged men experienced the epidemic of loneliness in a unique way because they don’t know how to enter into relationships
because their lives are surrounded by work and then family. Family is good, but they don’t know
how to have … brothers. They don’t know how to have necessarily,
not just “buddies” but true friendships with other men. They can have a friendship with their wife and that’s beautiful and powerful. They can even maybe be friends with
their grown children, and that’s great. But to have that man-to-man friendship,
or for women to have that woman-to-woman friendship is a skill that’s lost. One of the reasons why is because I think by extension.
Dr. Kerry Cronin talks about how, when it comes to dating someone,
we’ve lost the script. I think when it comes to being friends with someone we’ve lost the script. So we have this subsequent epidemic of loneliness. I’m not gonna blame social media,
I’m just not at all, because it’s a tool right? The tool can be used for positive or
it can be used for negative reasons. But I will note this: many of us have substituted authentic relationships in person, with other people, for virtual relationships. What happens is, we’ve substituted real life for what you might call an edited life. Real life is the ups and downs,
the small little moments and big moments in a person’s life
that someone else is sharing with you. And you’re sharing with their small moments
and their big moments. Edited life is safe.
Edited life is what we present to other people online. It’s even what we present to people when we choose
to text them rather than call them. Because if I’m gonna call someone,
I have to be thinking on my feet. This is actually my answer to your question you
just asked me right now. When it comes to a text message,
I can wait and think of an answer, I can type it out, I can delete it, I can edit it. It’s an edited life versus that
in-person, face-to-face, shared life. Real life you might call it. Because so many of us, not just Millennials, so many of us have exchanged real life
and real life connections for an edited life. Almost all of us, from the
oldest of us to the youngest of us, have lost the script.
And the best we can hope for is Netflix and chill. Or the best thing we can hope for is
I’m connecting with my buddies virtually. It’s forced, it’s edited and
it’s distancing us from each other. So what’s the solution? The solution might be to put down your phones. It might be to look up from our phones. Might be to log off of whatever the social media is.
That might be part of it. But a massive part of it is
rediscovering the script. Take a risk and share the small things
and the big things. That might mean that we have to slow down
when it comes to our lives. It might mean that we have to say no to
a lot of the plans we would like to have and just live well where we live, going off and doing the things we like to do, and just kind of being with the people
that we’re with right now. I wonder if that wouldn’t be a way that we could rediscover what it is to have a real life with someone and not just have an edited life with a bunch of someones. From all of us here at Ascension Presents,
my name is Fr. Mike. God bless.