In this continuation of part 1, Bill Smith continues his discussion of how culture impacts relationships. He begins with the role of technology and how it can lead to a culture of rudeness (we’re constantly interruptible and short with others). Consumerism also impacts our relationships. Choice is not a bad thing, but unintended consequences include reduced loyalties, looking for the perfect fit (approaching relationships like commodities), and buying for the sake of buying (enjoyment is found in acquisition). Smith also examines how the value of efficiency impacts our relationships.
Smith describes several ways to battle the temptation to be efficient in relationships: Redefine achievement and success to include relational time not simply relational connection; Structure your life for relationships; Work together; Think in relational terms about those around you (how do individual people relate best to you?). Smith also looks at the impact of the service industry on relationships: Relationships that are based on shallow exchanges because they involve business-like transactions. Oftentimes, our differences relating to others can actually complement each other when used in Christian community. Smith also discusses the impact of an overly tolerant culture on relationships.