I was reading a LA Times article today on the phenomenon of Twitter. I subscribe to Twitter and put post and ideas up there fairly often. The article mentioned how people are allowing interruptions to happen in their lives through this service. Me personally, I have the Twitterfox add-on for Firefox and every time there is a number that pops up, I open the window and find out that a friend is bragging about running 5 miles or telling me where they are going to eat dinner. Then I hop on there and brag about some thought that I have, and my narcissistic tendency waits with baited breath for a response from someone to legitimize my thought, action, and/or existence.
So I can see why people would post to Twitter. After all, we are probably the most self centered generation this planet has ever seen, myself included. We have successfully isolated ourselves in such an efficient way through the web and our cultural circles that we have to somehow create a marketplace around us that will celebrate our ideas and achievements. No longer are the influential few celebrated widely. The internet can make us all stars.
Now what about those, like myself, who spend their day being interrupted by people's updates? I find it curious that privacy is no longer a value in our culture. We used to value the ability to disconnect and be unreachable, but today, we invent ways to divert our attention and be distracted. I am a multi-tasker. I like having a number of balls in the air to juggle at once (your welcome Office fans). I typically don't like to focus on one task for an extended period of time, but I rather treat my life like a multiple download. I don't have time to sit and wait for one song to finish downloading before I start the other. For some reason, I think that downloading all the songs at once will get it done quicker. Of course it won't, but in my mind, it is certainly faster. There are hundreds of other ways I do thisl.
Because of the way that I am wired, I have always had to force myself to stop everything and spend time with God, but one thing is certain. I am interruptable...but not by God. I interrupt myself countless times a day to check email, read a text, check twitter, read status updates, and the list goes on and on and on. I very seldom find myself being interrupted by the voice of God, the conviction of the Holy Spirit, or intimacy with Christ. I feel as though my life is getting entirely too cluttered. There are too many items in my life that I have added to make communication more simplistic and efficient but are having the opposite effect.
I guess I can equate this movement to something like film making. Making a film typically involves a symphony of artists working together in concert to create one collected work. That was the case until Blair Witch came along. Now anyone with Final Cut and a camcorder can be a film maker. True, we have some some incredible works of art come from this movement, but it has also created a tremendous amount of noise out there. The same is true with Myspace and the music industry. While the independent artist has opportunities like they have never had, it also have introduced so much material into the marketplace that has no business being there in the first place. Noise.
I fear that with these social movements, the same will happen with our relationships and our connections with one another and with God. I am afraid we will start having the mentality that we can communicate our love, affection, and even testimony in 140 words or less, but even more so, that our communication and connection with one another will be so full of noise that it loses all meaning. There is just something about this social networking thing that doesn't sit right with me. For some reason, I don't think that God needed a college geek in a dorm room to create methods for us as humans to connect with one another in meaningful ways, and I certainly don't think that God intends for the daily ins and outs of our lives to be extraordinary in the least to one another, especially if we spend more time in the discover/communication of the mundane than the consistent discovery of the eternal and never ending glory of God.
14 hours ago