We live in a unique time in the history of the world. If you don’t believe me check out this video:
Did I mention that video is a year or so out of date?
Regardless. The reality is that the world is a very different than it was just a decade ago. We live in a time where our world is more interconnected than ever through mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress. We are able to express our thoughts and ideas to the globe in a keystroke.
This is for the most part, in my opinion, a very good thing. It’s good because for those of who are seeking to make change we are able to express our ideas to the world at large in a way that is fast, nimble, and easily accessible.
There is a darkside. A very darkside. One that I think is something we must begin to unravel or it could become so epidemic that change will be a farce.
In the most recent edition of the MTV Sticky Facebook was the central theme. There was an article entitled, “Social Story Telling” which caught my eye. It did so because I like stories and I really like thinking about the new and different ways that we can tell in the emerging generations.
This article broke my heart with three sentences:
To support my friend in Egypt, I have already signed up for the virtual march of millions along with friends and 328,977 fellow Facebookers. We are all choosing to take a stand online in support of an event, enabling us all to attend an event digitally and making our voices heard in a non-physical way. (Much safer than getting caught short by a lobbed fire extinguisher). However, we are still able to impact on an issue that means something to us.
I had to do a double take. Did she really just say that through hitting the “like” button they are having an impact on an issue?
Yes. She did.
This is what I think of that:
This is the darkside of social media. “Virtual Participation”. The consequences are significant. As we consider how to build the kingdom of God in the emerging generations we must realize that our greatest difficulty will be to engage their participation “IRL” (that’s, ‘in real life’ for you older folks).
The kingdom of God will not be built through hitting a “like” button. It grows through the faithful obedience of a covenant people proclaiming the message of their King.
We cannot let the “like” button win. Huxley’s Brave New World with its unlimited entertainment is where we are heading. Will we as the Church sit idly by or will we call, train, and send a new generation of leaders to subvert the Empire of Consumerism Entertainment?