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Archive for October 25th, 2011

15 years ago:

You have a question with your homework.  You call your best friend who’s in class with you.  The phone rings.  His mother picks up ask who it is and hands the phone over to him.  After answering your question, he ask if you can hang out.  You say after your homework is done you are going to meet him at his house–down the block.

A week ago:

You call someone on the phone.  You can’t get a hold of them.  You text them.  Then you go on facebook and notice on your feed that three seconds ago they have just posted a new status.  The stamp even said, “Posted from an Iphone.”  So you call again.  While you are waiting with the ring, you shoot an email from your Android.  You get the voicemail again.  You don’t even bother leaving a message.  So you call the home phone.  No one picks up.  You log on skype to check if he’s online and while you are at it you log into AIM since you have not logged in for a while.  A whole bunch of people wants to chat with you–you have not been on AIM for a month.  You ignore all the IMs that are blinking, and close the program because your wife is texting you that dinner’s ready–beckoning to come downstairs.  You don’t even  bother texting her back.  Before you shut down your lap top, you do a quick adjustment to your linked-in profile–all the more to make you awesome.

Isn’t an interesting paradox that within the last ten years, with more ways and medium to get a hold of somebody than ever before, it turns out that it’s harder to get a hold of somebody than fifteen years ago?  Though technology provides great ways of getting hold of each other, yet people are farther apart…

So while it is harder to communicate with people, the other paradox is that we are revealing more about ourselves more than ever before–on blogs, facebook, Linked-in, twitter, Myspace (that ancient thing), etc.  Sometimes we reveal ourselves in front of a screen and with our fingers hammering away at our keyboard more than we realize–our hypocrisy, bad attitude shows–and we forget who sees us on their newsfeed or email digest.

I think the last paradox suggests that within many people, the American cultural ideal of being a celebrity (famous for being famous) is beginning to mold many people to begin to act like celebrities.  Celebrities have a following–though the celebrities themselves might not actually have and want a real relationship with those who see them–what’s important is the protrayal of an image–an attitude capture in wise cracks twitter posts, an expression capture in a picture, etc.  While the Tabloids fuel the mass to follow the littlest juicy gossip and activity of a celebrity (such as them going to a resturant, pictures of them running out of a car disguised to pick up groceries or any other routine event and dare I say non-event, all captured and valuable just simply because they are celebrities doing things and nothing more), I think people generally start mimicking our deepest imagination and fantasy.  If as a culture, our greatest fantasy is to become a celebrity, how much more now with facebook, twitter, youtube can you get people to “follow,” “subscribe,” “re-twit,” etc., can we start mimicking our deepest dream–to be someone liked by others, without returning the love of close relationship and friendship?  You can post super spiritual stuff even, petitioning for prayers–but never praying for those who follow and are praying for you…

I think that explains why our generation has a hard time getting back and responding to people…and why our generation at the same time will reveal so much private and unnecessarily information and attitudes of ourselves than ever before to strangers and friends.  It reveals why people will post pictures of their clubbing experience–even though they themselves at church will never be caught dead confessing you their drunkard sins or immoral activities–yet why do they posts things and forget who are on their list?  We have become like our deepest imagination–to live the fantasy, the dream that we are now able to be a mini-celebrity in our own unique way, almost as if we are saying, “Hey, I can have my own reality TV shows too!” At least with real celebrities they have agents and producers to edit their persona and remove some of the foolishness.  When your agent is facebook, you see the most depraved and awkard clues that people are so full of themselves without knowing it…Which speaks more of our depraved and sinful nature to be glorified rather than glorifying God.

Talk to me…

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