You can’t win nowadays when it comes to engaging in our “social media” world. Dualism is running amok and there is no end in sight. Polarization seems to be the only remedy if looking to find some type of productive dialogue. Yes, you can argue until the cows come home on practically any type of current event. News from all types of sources from the left and right political spectrum seem to be the catalyst.
I get it. Historically speaking, the news has always been a medium that brings bad news, not good. The reason for this can be originated to many sources but I think the main factor would be our neurological function of fight or flight (aka, lizard brain). Since the dawn of human existence, we have a survival mechanism to sense danger and react.
It’s interesting how Christians (not to pick on them but I am part of that crazy world so its my curse) seem to love bad news. They love to get involved and can get their perspectives across (especially with the new overruling of Roe vs Wade).
So, when we are given such a huge platform of social connectivity from a technological standpoint, it’s easy to see how our current state of division. It’s not only the social dialogue we see in social media but also the candor of self-image issues.
Or how about all the social media memes, from both sides of the Christian antipode (progressives and conservatives alike), showing off what we believe? How much time are we spending “parading” what we believe, but not actually doing anything about it? Virtue signaling, anyone?!
Now, now, I am not trying to point fingers here (I am guilty of it too). We hide from the fact that we hold onto numerous beliefs while not doing anything that reflects those views in real time. We can also hold our beliefs so firmly that we let ourselves become numb to what is actually going on in the world around us.
Like the whole hoopla over the second coming of Jesus, for example. Several Jesus people hold this belief so firmly that they show no concern regarding environmental protection. If Jesus is coming back, who gives a shit about being stewards of this earth, right? Theologian Peter Rollins paints faith like this,
Faith, then, is not a set of beliefs about the world. It is rather found in the loving embrace of the world. Because the actual existing church has reduced the Crucifixion and Resurrection to religious affirmations held by a certain tribe, rather than expressions of a type of life, the event they testify to has been almost completely eclipsed.
Until we start participating in the actual reality of Christ (the flow of love) within social media, we can forget about our belief systems. We need to let go, breathe, and embrace our embodied life if we ever want to see and hear the reality of Christ-consciousness in this current space and time.
Behind a phone screen can only get us so far. I am not saying social media is this evil place with no hope of productive human interaction. Look, I get that people are making a living on that platform (for better or worse) and it has brought some good in this world. But I am saying we all have to find more of a humorous demeanor if we want to survive as a species (dramatic…maybe?). It’s not so much of “cancelling” social media but more of a mode of being when engaging in it.
Let’s bring more cheerful good news and less endless confrontation. Like the late great William Shakespeare once said:
It would be argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest for ever.