by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
In this portion, Debi attempts to wrap up the chapter by being very clear that she’s as shaky on modern technology as she is on theology, homeschooling, child development and communication skills.
When you get to know someone online it is like getting to know a character in a fiction novel. That character is the product of creative writing. When a young man writes to girls, you can be sure of one thing: he is doing his very best to make a good impression.
That’s a safe statement about the vast majority of human communication.
Have you ever seen one of those nature shows that feature the mating rituals of wild creatures? The male bird fluffs out his feathers, making him look three times as big as he really is. Frogs inflate their chests and make deep croaking sounds. Lizards expand the skin around their necks until they look five times bigger.
Yes, I’ve seen those shows.
The fluffing and puffing can be a way to attract a mate, but more frequently the increased size is an attempt to trick PREDATORS who might be attracted by the noise they are using to find a mate.
College: A place you can study animal behavior in depth. Plus, you get a degree that can be used to find a job – which you won’t get for watching TV specials.
Young men go online and become spiritual giants, with large hearts and magnificent goals and worthy ambitions, but it’s all bird feathers and lizard skins. He describes himself as he would like to be, or as he thinks she would like him to be. He develops an online personality. None of his assertions are tested. His body language and mannerisms are concealed. Like an author writing a novel, he is known through his creative writing. As the country song goes, “I’m so much cooler online.”
I don’t see the difference between Debi’s stereotypical “Online Man” from Visionary Men and Kingly Men. Actually, the “Online Man” may be nice in person; the Visionary Men and Kingly Men make poor partners.
So, am I saying that texting is inherently evil? No, not at all; it is just a form of communication.
Debi spends the rest of the chapter bashing texting and online communication in general.
Texting it’s self is not sin, but then, neither is parking a car. However, if you are alone with a guy when you park, you have already accepted the slippery slope.
A slippery slope to what? Watching poor parallel parking….putting change in a meter….walking to a movie?
Have you accepted the slippery slope with any guy you are alone with in a parked car? What if the guy is 85? What if the guy is your brother?
How about if you are parked on a busy street in the middle of the day during a festival? What if it is 90 degrees outside and you have all the windows closed in your junker of a car?
I’ve been clear on what I think about Debi’s views on sexuality – she’s 100% wrong, 100% of the time. This time, though, she can’t even say what she thinks and leaves us with a muddy semi-metaphor.
When you text a guy, you are alone with him, it is just the two of you – soul to soul. Because your body is not there, you feel safe. But intercourse of the mind and heart is 90% of marriage.
Yeah, but the other 10% involve physical intimacy and a publicly made contract that involves accepting legal responsibilities for the other.
Are you in a Pie in the Sky relationship with a guy or, maybe, several guys? To get to know a man who is not your husband is emotional adultery. To exchange intimate knowledge with several guys is whorish.
The man I text and FB most frequently is….my brother. Does that mean I’m committing incest? No sane person would equate sending texts about buying Christmas gifts and inside jokes about early 90’s pop culture to a brother with incest.
Yet, Debi’s argument is EXACTLY THE SAME.
Also, the correct term is “emotional fornication” if both are single. For “emotional adultery”, one or both parties would have to be married.
Texting, Facebook and emails are not private. Husbands are checking up on wives. Employers are now paying computer gurus to find “web noise” information on people who are seeking employment. If you sent it, someone can trace it to you. Sin and foolishness will find you out.
I spend lots of time online. I very rarely see sin on display and “foolishness” isn’t an actionable offense at work.
In preparing to write this book I asked several young men if they had gone on to the web to check up on any of the girls they have considered as potential brides. Many men felt the best way to really know what and who a girl in was to check out her past cyber traffic: What has she written? Who has she been in contact with?
Debi spent the first part of this post explaining how guys make up entirely false identities online. Why are girls any different?
The guys had thus eliminated many girls that never knew they were being considered.
Debi makes that sound like it’s a problem; I’d prefer not to have to deal with a potential boyfriend who cyber-stalks me.
You think, “Shame on a man who would violate my privacy.” What privacy? I say, “You typed it; you or one of your friends posted the pictures; you went to that place and associated with that crowd.” If you have already soiled your cyber image, now is the time to stat over.
Look, posting pictures of excessive drinking, illegal drug use or sexually suggestive pictures can be a problem when looking for a job…but I don’t think that’s what Debi’s talking about.
Just say never again, and proceed to reform your foolish tracks with righteous and sober-minded remarks. A man seeing the change will appreciate a healthy repentance and a lesson learned.
“Sober-minded remarks” sounds agonizingly boring. Debi recommended being light-hearted and not particularly spiritual when talking with guys last chapter. Which does she want?
Great White Throne Judgement
There is a new rash of suicides among very young teenagers. The reason has been tracked to the embarrassing situation kids are finding themselves in due to foolish “sexting” and texting. These young teenagers tingle with excitement as they, in the secret corners of their bedrooms, point a small phone towards their bodies, and push the camera button. It seems secret and it doesn’t feel that bad.
Why does Debi describe everything sexual in detail?
The Scripture teaches that there will come a day when every thought, deed and attitude will be made known and each person will give an answer. Some of you will give an answer long before The Great White Throne Judgement. Some of you will have friends (at least you thought they were friends) forwarding your messages and your pictures to people who only want to hurt you.
Nice use of a vague and changing subject to make this sound even more serious. The first sentence is about giving an answer to GOD. The second sentence is about answering questions from other people. The last one is conditional on potential friends sharing possibly sexual texts and pictures.
It might not be revealed until your wedding day, or at your first child’s fifth birthday or maybe when your daughter is eleven. But it floats around out there waiting to come forth at the most embarrassing time.
*Snorts, then dissolves into laughter*
Who is going to whip out a naked picture of a mom when her daughter is eleven?
People don’t show up at a fifth birthday party with compromising photo of the kid’s parent.
Well, actually, Debi probably would…but everyone knows she’s nuts.
Don’t let it happen to you.
‘Mk…. wasn’t planning on letting Debi have naked pictures of me anyway.
I’ve been ignoring the questions at the end of each chapter because they are horrible. These are a standard sample – leading questions that are close-ended.
I often amuse myself by answering the questions as I would have as a bored 16-year-old…
Your Treasure Chest:
God commands women to be chaste in their conversation. If you are not chaste as a single girl then you will not be trustworthy as a wife. You are what you do!
Some of you are conceiving sin by participating in activities that will one day bring forth the death of your marriage. Are you NOW involved in an unchaste conversation with a guy, or maybe several guys?
[What does “conceiving sin” mean? ]
“Right now, I am writing in a cheap paperback in the middle of the church library…so… no.”
If you knew every single week the preacher would read to the whole church your emails or texting and show over the large screen every picture you sent or received, would you feel ashamed, embarrassed, or outright horrified?
[If Debi was an experienced teacher, she’d rephrase this question into an activity. She could have the girls look up all the emails/texts they sent over a week, then decide how they felt about those messages. Also, you don’t need a list of emotions. Teenagers are pretty good at ID emotions.]
“I’d be impressed that my priest was that good at cyber-espionage.”
Are you ready to honor God in this area of your life?
Are you willing to flee the temptation by removing from your chat list any person that you have written to or who has written to you in an unwise manner?
“Does this mean I can stop getting stupid emails from the Pearls? They aren’t very wise….”
Are you willing to do whatever it takes to completely free your heart from attachments that dishonor God?
“If I answer yes, do I get out of this stupid class?”
AntiPearl: I’m a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they’re interested in.
Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide