February 11, 2011 / Mediation, Uncategorized
In 1991, the Academy Award for Best Picture went to the disturbing psycho thriller, The …
March 21, 2011
When Mark Zuckerberg (and others) developed Facebook some 7 years ago, part of the vision behind its creation was to transform the way people related and interacted. The newly developed Facebook was a venue of sorts, which afforded people an opportunity to openly give and receive information. It is more than obvious that Zuckerberg has succeeded in his efforts (though one may challenge the use of the word “succeed”). In any event, Facebook has (almost) singlehandedly transformed human interrelating since its inception.
One of the most intriguing capacities of Facebook, cultural speaking anyway, is its ability to unite people, in a very ostensible way, to ideas, common interests, and shared experiences. This is the Facebook Group. These groups are like little communities – binding together the Lady Gaga lovers, the I Loved Rug Ratz As A Kid fans, the Barack Obama supporters, and the Harry Potter enthusiasts. The ability to “like” or join a group has doubtless helped embed a group/community mentality in Western culture.
The West, ever since the Enlightenment, has flourished under the banner of individualism. But has the 21st century, with its globally-knitting technology (a la Facebook) and history-making “current” events, driven the focus to the group? The community? The family even? Well, it might not be there quite yet, but the trajectory is one to watch and monitor closely. Even more titillating, perhaps, is the potential for these communities to create real change. For already, Facebook groups have been used as a platform to organize protests, petition for various causes, and construct coalitions.
Now, if you’re wondering where the theological thread is in all of this discussion, its squarely located in the center of this concept of community. The New Testament writings are deeply inspired with the theme of community. Both Jesus and the apostles taught and functioned in a wider network – realizing the power of many over one; the solidarity of a congregation over a maverick. So then, as the West embraces a more communal mindset, the task of the Christian church will be to reassert and reposition itself and it’s Gospel so as to not be dampened by the growing number of voices which are uniting in the West under different gospels.