I’m writing during the month of October with the Write 31 Days collective on the theme of digial REAL. Kate Motaung has been doing five minute posts all the way through, and today I’m drawing on her word prompt to join with the Five Minute Friday #fmfparty gang to write five minute unedited today on the prompt DARE.
(You can join the Five Minute Friday part all year round too – here’s how.)
I was reading around the issue of Social media, partly in preparation for meetings next week. Every now and then I encounter something more that makes my hackles rise. It’s not always obvious why. Here’s the latest statement I read, in LinkedIn article from Mika Salmi,
“Let’s see, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, pick your social media poison – have made us active participants in real time media. While we appear to be alone, as we have our noses buried in and our postures ruined by our smartphones, we aren’t alone at all. We are connected and want to express ourselves to the world.
(I can hear the non-digital natives, i.e. everyone over 40, scoffing at this notion of constantly needing to express yourself in real-time – but, sorry, you folks won’t be driving the future.)” (Full article here)
In that last phrase, he’s written me, and my generation, and all those older than me, off. It’s the sort of talk that comes from the self-assured, arrogant youth, who claim they need no help nor wisdom from those who have lived before. He’s claiming the only experience of any value is experience in digital communications. I beg to differ.
As you may know from the series I’ve been writing, I’m not a luddite. I’m aware enough to flex and adapt to new ways, and I see the need to embrace technology to flow into the future decades ahead of us. But I’ve also pointed out, and quoted from others who have written it more eloquently than I, some of the dangers, excesses, and safeguards we would be wise to take on board too.
I know that if I am to influence the next generation, I must dare to speak up, inadequately as I might do it, in a technical medium that is not my first language. I may make mistakes, or be mocked.
I know that I must dare to live a passionate, vibrant offline life, to demonstrate the breadth of human experience. If I can make the younger generation jealous for life, let me dare.
I know that I must care for the widows and orphans*, neither of whom are represented much in the digital world. Jesus left the 99 for the one, and so will I. Maybe daring to live counter-culturally, offline, for the sake of these could move some hearts?
I know I will dare to speak up for the Bibleless people worldwide, many millions without their own language developed or written down yet, let alone understandable internet content. God’s word changes lives, and we still need to dare to bring it to those without. It’s a digital, literacy, translation, Bible-shipping battle. And one I will dare to step into.
* widows and orphans:
27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. (James 1.27)
And, since it appears to need saying again, I’ll just finish with this reminder of Who really does drive the future:
12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:12,20)
#write31days (What is Write 31 Days?)