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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IMs, etc) (11/04/10)

TITLE: e-language
By Jim McWhinnie



“The medium is the message,” so taught Marshall McLuhan back in the early days of television. He spoke of television as being a “cool” medium, somehow lacking soul in its communication.

And now fifty years later, this baby-boomer has lived with television. In fact, I find I tend to think in the television medium, highly visual, thinking in pictures and video clips. My parents grew up as children of radio, auditory souls who thought in sounds and voices.

Years have rolled on, and now my sons are children of a new medium, the computer medium, the cell phone medium. They think in terms of instant cell phone communication, abbreviated text-ing, thoughts spoke in bits and pieces. And I wonder how this “e-language” will form their way of thinking.

As a Pastor of forty years, I have observed how Church members have subtly changed with the changing of medium.

When I first began, they were people who were keenly auditory. They knew how to listen. They knew how to listen to the faith-stories and how to retell the faith-stories. They would come to church to listen. And when they practiced devotion in their work life, they found places to listen - to listen for the voice of God they somehow believed could be heard in the quiet place.

As time went by, the younger church became more and more visual. Their power to listen weakened but their power to observe increased. They needed to “see” God, to see God in the world about them, to see God in others, to see God in projected images on movie screens. They sensed that the vision of God could be found before their eyes in moving,living color.

Now the medium changes once more with the coming generation, the “e-language” generation, how will God communicate to them? Will they be listening for God? Will they be looking for God? Or will they be waiting for God to cyber-communicate the great truth, an abbreviated truth offered in brief ”tweets” in bits and pieces?

I find a certain comfort in knowing that God first whispered into the souls of listening people who beheld the wonder of God at work and then slowly penned those words upon sheets of handmade parchment.

And that same God who spoke then, speaks now.

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This article has been read 506 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Graham Starling11/11/10
Interesting observations. Personally I worry that having so much communication going through machines is insulating us from interacting in full depth. I certainly remember being more fully alive and aware of the world and people around me when I was living in a village in Chad with no TV, telephone or Internet.

For future reference, your word processor is generating left and right quotes which then don't display properly when uploaded. An easy fix to this is to copy your article into notepad then make a fresh copy from notepad into the faithwriters article upload page.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/12/10
I enjoyed your observations and though I've never considered it before; I see the truth in your words. I want to rewind and see my mom againor even save her life. I want to fast forward through my illness. The important thing to remember is God is still here through all the changes. He easily adapts to the changing ways
Lollie Hofer11/12/10
Excellent article, thought-provoking, well-written. I never thought about each generation being stimulated differently. It does affect how teacher's teach, that's for sure.
Noel Mitaxa 11/14/10
As a fellow pastor, I identify with your insights, but isn't it fun to enjoy God's trust to express his truth and grace in spite of distractions over techniques...
Brenda Rice 11/15/10
I really enjoyed your article. It was very easy to read and very interesting.
Karen Pourbabaee 11/18/10
Congratulations on your Highly Commended win!So good to see your name up there. This was thought provoking and well developed. As long as there are hungry hearts, the Father will get through to His children,despite our advanced technologies.