Anyone who knows much about me knows I LOVE computing, Linux-based operating systems, the internet and freedom of speech.
A great many peeps in my 5k friends list in Facebook posted about either giving up Facebook or all social media for Lent, and/or the veracity (that is, truthfulness) and increasing bloat of negativity they read there and via Twitter, etc. at the present time. In social media as face-to-face life, some people vent to the point of others getting tired of it.
For years I’ve known people who avoid most all news in that so much of it is about murder, other horrible crimes and natural disasters with just enough “general interest” or “positive”, feel-good stories thrown in to counter the sick and the miserable stuff.
I love the news and find it much like food: you can eat junk or healthy stuff, exercise or not and the results are your own, great or horrid, no?
I rarely trust everyone’s motives, depth of knowledge and even less, wisdom in using the Web for personal or shared info. because I understand the stuff called propaganda, politics, general news often being pumped out purely for some sort of profit. It’s too easy to fall for what we were warned about years ago re. “yellow journalism” in the press. And yet I’m a news junkie, listen to news radio constantly, read several news services online daily and keep up with several social media outlets that are Web-based along with multiple tv broadcasts and documentaries.
Even in light of all this, the use and abuse of sound-bites that at times may even intentionally lead people -from- rather than -to- the truth on an issue, I think the press is too easily blamed for it’s actions when it seems they may (read that “may”) exhibit bias.
I’ve done plenty of interviews and learned a long time ago editing can turn you into Jesus or the devil with just a few words. And sure, ratings are THE deal in media industry, shock “journalism” and disaster stories often peak ratings like nothing else. It IS a biz, even among Christian peeps.
If we were all honest, we’d admit we LOVE bias we agree with and may even hate bias we don’t, press or otherwise…
I further believe very few people are willing to put in the time to exegete information as opposed to isogete it. Like in Bible interpretation, we exegete to discover the truth of what we read regardless of our personal desire, position or merely trying to gain the upper hand or win in any sense. We isogete to find “proof-texts”, some sort of material that agrees with our already-held views that are directly linked to personal desire, position, gaining the upper hand and ultimately, to WIN. Did someone say “ethics”?
Are we really trying to take great pains to get at reality or merely seeking to create a fantasy others will accept as such?
This scenario is almost as American as apple pie. Making a buck and persuasion. Spin. Cashing in. Drawing you in. See… flick a few rhyming words and even a lyricist can play the game to make a point. So… what’s my point in this blog?
I ask you to consider the internet as you think about the following Bible verses with a view to truth, motives, gaining advantage vs. intellectual honesty, personal integrity and genuine care for human beings whether or not you agree or disagree with them about anything:
Daniel 12.4 “you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run back and forth, and knowledge shall be increased.”
Knowledge is one thing, wisdom (what to do with knowledge, and at core, whether the “knowledge” is factual information or merely stated as though it is) is quite another.
In the present information age, it seems to me there is plenty of one and not near enough of the other.
And did you notice I’ve not even mentioned gossip or slander yet?!
I have friends who hard-core disagree with one another and some who think I’m crazy to like or maintain friendship with the “other”. What some of them say to or about each other online is at times nearly a blatant testament to their love or lack of it, wisdom or lack of it, heart after truth or simply disgust and shock at how “they” could be “so stupid and wrong”.
As I wrote in an earlier blog this year, from time to time I de-friend someone, typically on the basis of what I consider over-the-top political mud-slinging and diatribe. Propaganda. Harsh and nasty word-bombs. When it seems they spew out sludge of this sort regularly, I finally think my Facebook account needs bleach.
These, my friends, are just too much the norm for some folks. Depending on your position, some love such use of language.
This is the glory and tragedy of free speech. Nothing new under the sun, just new, international (cyber) ways to toss it out in the street.
Mature? Loving? For my Christian friends I’d simply ask which Galatians chapter 5, verses 22 and 23 fruit of the Spirit are we referencing?
Jesus has the last word, and will:
“For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”.
Thanks for considering, and for stopping by! -Glenn