Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IM’s, etc) (11/04/10)
- TITLE: e-language
By Jim McWhinnie
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â€śThe medium is the message,â€ť so taught Marshall McLuhan back in the early days of television. He spoke of television as being a â€ścoolâ€ť 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 â€śe-languageâ€ť 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 â€śseeâ€ť 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 â€śe-languageâ€ť 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 â€ťtweetsâ€ť 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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