Tim Chester has been keeping busy writing some really engaging stuff on Facebook. In his next two articles, here and here, Tim deals with the issue of our craving for “digital disincarnation” in cyberspace. Both articles are really worth reading in their entirety.
We were created to be embodied beings but social networking, and for that matter online gaming, encourage our desire to leave the constraints and problems of our actual circumstances and become someone else – freed from my constraints, freed from the reality of the person God has called me to be. Tim says
You are opting for disembodied life over embodied life.
Now disembodied life is easier. But it is less fulfilling, less real and less satisfying.
Embodied life is harder. But it is more fulfilling, more real, more satisfying. It is more substantial – you can touch it, feel it, embrace it!
He concludes with some insightful contrasts between life online and life within the actual, touchy-feely, kick it and it hurts world where God has put you.
Facebook encourages you to live elsewhere. The gospel encourages you to live life here and now.
- You can tend your Farmville farm or you can get an allotment.
- You can catch up with friends on Facebook or you can go out on a cold, dark night to see real friends.
- You can catch up with “Friends” by watching the latest episode on the television or you can serve your neighbours.
- You can build a new city on Sims or you can be the city of God set on a hill with your Christian community.
Here is the test: Am I using Facebook to enhance real world friendships or to replace them?