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Blogging: a subtle appeal to human pride?
In a world of pervasive blogging and social media Andy Wharhol's 1968 prediction that "everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes" has lost non of its allure. Is the desire for public attention now invading the church?
COMMENTING on the practice of blogging, the broadcaster Andrew Marr opined:
"A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate pimpled, single, slightly-seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting their mothers' basements and ranting. They are very angry young people."
Marr qualifies his observation by referring to 'a lot' of bloggers who 'seem to be'. So he is referring to many, not all; and to his perception rather than proven fact. Having said that he is probably not too far off the mark.
However there are many - an increasing number even - who do not fit Marr's description. Many professional journalists and business people make good and – for their readers – helpful observations on current issues.
Who cares about domestic trivia?
But then there are others. Even amongst those newspaper columnists who have something interesting, amusing or informative to say there are othes who seem to think that the average reader has the time or interest to read about what their cat had for breakfast or their baby doing a whoopsie on the carpet - or the other way round.
It's banal and it's boring, but it also worse that that. This form of behaviour illustrates a facet of the human psyche – the need to be noticed; and the inate pride which suggests that the world is poised on tiptoes to learn which brand of toothpaste the writer uses.
Now please don't misunderstand me, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with a blether over a cup of coffee, or its equivalent over the phone or on a Facebook page. It's when the time spent doing these things consume hours of our day or become an addictive form of pride which believes that the world will be bereft it is denied its daily dose of our received wisdom that the difficulty and problem arises.
How we spend our time...
In an earlier age someone once said that you can tell who a person's god is by looking at their cheque stubs and diary. The message being that how we spend our discretionary time and money shows where we place our values.
So, the question is just how much time is being spent by the followers of Christ in front of computer screens or on mobile phones in order to read or write about trivia.
Amongst those who are the most vulnerable to the seduction of social media are the socially-maladjusted youths of Andrew Marr's perception. But is there a wider spectrum of people caught up in all of this? Could it be me? Could it also be you?