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

TITLE: Thy Kingdom Geek
By Mona Purvis


Shangri-La beckons.

Here you belong. So what if you don't like your life? No problem, create a new one. Here you are anyone you choose to be. 24-7-365. We're all friends. Our whole purpose is to communicate. We listen. This is neutral ground. Make yourself right at home. See how playful and fun we are? It's all free.

No one gets hurt in Shangri-La.

Betty Martin has struggled with weight-loss issues her whole miserable life. Now, middle-aged and obese, she hides behind closed doors of her darkened bedroom where the only light in the room emanates from the computer screen. Pizza, potato chips, candy bars, cookies and sweet sodas fuel her as she enters the world of Shangri-La.

Weight-Loss-Bette sits down to advise struggling heavyweights who visit her slick blog. She has all the answers to their diet questions and is so adored by her many followers. Her true story is so inspiring. Her dietary knowledge is vast and her will power is legendary. She tells her friends to just do it, believe in themselves as they live their lives on Main Street.

Daniel Bennett lives from paypay to payday while the hounds of debt nip at his heels. His gambling addiction has left him a divorced, lonely, angry man. Always looking for the next windfall, he scurries to buy lottery tickets before he hurries off to his rented computer to go to Shangri-La.

Dan-With-A-Plan offers financial and estate planning advice for those who are lacking in good stewardship of all God's blessings. Never shy to tell his readers how they made the mess of debt and they alone are responsible, he leads them to a debt-free Utopian life on Main Street.

Pastor Mark Gordon lost all respect from his flock when his wife of thirty-years discovered he was having an affair with the church floozy. Now he lives alone, dodging encounters with the those he once served. Putting the smutty magazine aside, he shuts the blinds as he turns on his monitor to take a trip to Shangri-La.

Embark-With-Mark stirs the hearts of his friends. They feel so at-home and can ask this marriage guru anything, even private intimate questions about how to improve their marriage that has cooled. His playful banter puts everyone right at ease as he counsels couples alive on Main Street.

Robert Holden has had many scrapes with the police in his hometown. They are always knocking on his door when a child goes missing. One would think since he has paid his debt to society, they would leave him alone. Why is it wrong to enjoy the company of children? It's why he visits Shangri-La.

Bobby-Kool-Ade is the sexiest and most fun guy on the net, all the young girls flirt and talk to him. His pictures are hot. He's young and handsome and wholesome. What girl doesn't want to be invited to his parties? All the girls seek to spend time with him on Main Street.

Engagement in the Virtual World is mesmerizing. It is a level playing field where anyone can be someone by just claiming it. If you don't like the life that God created, no problem. You're the creator in Shangri-La.


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This article has been read 680 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/12/10
Your article really made me think of all the "stuff" that beckons to us from the internet. Well done.
Beth LaBuff 11/12/10
This is so real and so scary at the same time. We can create and live in our own virtual world. Super creative work here with each scenario, and I love your title and your make-belive/real Shangri-La!
Sarah Heywood11/12/10
This was very thought-provoking. I like to believe that I am "real" in my computer dealings, but not everyone else may be. Great job!
Henry Clemmons11/13/10
Yes, the internet is a lake of thin ice that must be walked upon very carefully, and you never know the image you see reflected, may be your own. Spooky real. Great story and writing. I enjoyed it tremendously!
Caitlyn Meissner11/13/10
I really enjoyed your article. It's something I've often thought about. As a writer, I do seem different on the computer than I do in real life. Sometimes I wonder what people would think if they could see the real me. Great job, and great message!
Gregory Kane11/14/10
An excellent call to increased discernment while using the internet. It's not even restricted to hypocrites. It's all too easy for a church (or even a missionary) to present an image of themselves that has slipped too far away from the underlying reality. God help us to be honest and to be discerning!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/14/10
Quite a little place there. You did an outstanding job on this story! Wow it made me shiver mainly because it is likely somewhere in the www those stories are true. Excellent message.
Sarah Elisabeth 11/15/10
Each a very true scenario. Creative take!
Rachel Phelps11/16/10
Wow - what an excellent entry! Powerful.
Susan Montaperto11/16/10
Very well written and "real." A thought provoking story to remind everyone of the dangers of the internet. Thank you.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/18/10
Congratulations for placing 9th in level 4 and 13th overall!