We are an overstimulated, overshared, overexposed generation.
But there are moments where we realize it’s no longer entertainment, and the gravity of our world’s brokenness implodes our identities of elaborate avoidance and shallow compassion. It becomes apparent that no amount of buffering can keep us distanced and numb from the horror of our increasingly chaotic existence. It was always there, happening in equal intensity all over the world… we just tried to ignore it.
Our addiction to digital connectivity is our flight from our real-life loneliness. Perhaps because we have become so isolated in our individualist culture, we long for the joy of community that we search for any substitute we can find… but once that community goes through real community things- pain, mourning, conflict, crisis… we run away, fearing the price of real community. We resort to “caring” by clicking on a button that says “like” or send a tweet of remorse. At most, like me, we blog about it, feebly attempting to “deal” with it all.
We love our connectivity, but we have no idea what to do with it when it is no longer positive and turns into crisis. We frantically look for ways to support- we text to special numbers to donate money. We join online petitions. We constantly hit refresh on the news websites. And finally, in fatigue from our frantic search for a way to “help”… we close the computer. It’s our last resort. We cut the connection.
Do we find another avenue to numb us, back into our isolation? Do we become enveloped in the pain?
…Or perhaps we will stop running. Perhaps we will look up. And perhaps, just maybe- if we stop thrashing about frantically for instant fixes and we don’t just look quickly, but strain our eyes, look hard and perceive- there are shafts of hope breaking through those dark clouds that appear where they shouldn’t appear.
there’s more to say, but really, all there is to say is…
Lord, have mercy.