Christians on the web

The movie short “What If God Had a MySpace” is a clever example of digital storytelling, but also raises some viable issues that are worth thinking about.

The scenes of the devil asking to be God’s friend, and having to be repeatedly denied, remind me of some of the friend requests I received on my own MySpace page before I wised up and changed my birth year to 1901. Based on my gender and age (when I was reporting my real birth year) I was getting friend requests that may not have been named “Satan” but were probably close in the thematic focus of their MySpace pages. 🙁

The scenes of people “asking for stuff” made me think about how many people view God, and how many people are missing a relationship with Him. Unfortunately I am too busy, quite often, and don’t spend the time with God that I need to and should be spending each day. Who do people think God is? That question seems to be raised by this video also.

The video also raises the issue of relevance to me– and exemplifies the need we have for more Christian voices on the web. What an amazingly exciting as well as shockingly horrible environment we live in today– in this flat world which can and does bring people together for common purposes, both good and evil.

iFilm (the site who owns the blog linked above) is quite an eye opener into the world of viral video. I first learned about iFilm a couple of summers ago, at the Digital Media Academy’s workshop on Digital Storytelling. Of course YouTube can be a bad place to explore as well– there is more there than any of us should go out and try to see and find. I have real mixed feelings about all of this. I guess in the online environment of the flat world, there are less “checks” and “boundaries” on individuals’ access to content of all types, good and bad. That is simultaneously exciting and horrifying. I wrote about some of this back in January 2005, in terms of the power of mere still images to powerfully affect the mind and the imagination.

Lots of thoughts raised here. We need more Christian voices on the web. Not because any of us have all “the answers” ourselves, but because we know where and to Whom we can and should turn for answers.

3 comments

  • Thanks for the link Wes. Digital storytelling and Web 2.0 technologies will play a big role in reaching this generation of youth. There are so many stigmas about the internet and its dangers and rightly so. Yet, so many are failing to realize that it is impossible to keep children away from the dangers of the internet. All we can do is teach high morals and expectations then help them use the tools in a glorifying way by coming along side of them and empowering them to use the tools. That in addition to open communication about what studetns are doing on the web by parents and role models.

    I found this article on the American views of God and thought it might interest you as you think about the misconceptions people have about God as you seek to make him known. It is a short read but I saw a lot of the wrong things I tend to believe about God as I read thorugh it.

  • Thanks for that link Chris, I saw that original article in USA Today a few weeks ago when I was traveling. It is a good read– I found it interesting in light of what is portrayed in the media, i.e. that only a small portion of Americans believe in God. The variances within that group are striking, however. You are right about adults needing to do more to help kids learn to make moral choices on the web and in F2F life. The importance of this is only going to grow. I’m wondering what churches are doing across the country to address this?

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