I doubt many would be surprised to hear that I have a special place in my heart for technology. I love the way our church websites, Internet Campus, and online groups extend the ministry of our church and allow me to connect with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I love that I can stay in contact with many people by reading their updates via Facebook, Twitter, and their blogs. I love that I can use technology, like Skype and Facetime, to connect with my family and have face-to-face conversations even though we are geographically distant from one another.
But along with this amazing gift of technology, our society, and maybe much of the world, has now also taken on the mantle of hyper-criticism. I see it in the comments of many blogs I read, I find it on Twitter, and I’ve even watched it creep into our church’s online social spaces. Our ability to interact and give feedback has brought many to the point where they can’t seem to turn off their own commentary. And now, everywhere I look, I’m surrounded by criticism. Someone is ripping on a airline for bad customer service, or they’re tearing down a celebrity for the dumb choices they’ve made, or they’re complaining about the quality of some product. Everywhere I look on the web, someone is pointing out somone’s mistake.
We’ve taken the platforms of web technology and social media and turned them into our pedestals. Our opinions have become the commodity, and we have become self-important. We take everything personally, refuse to extend grace, and dish out negativity.
This can’t be healthy. Not for us, and not for our society.
I think it’s time for many of us, especially those of us who claim to follow Jesus, to take a different path. It’s time to climb down from our pedestals, remember that we’re flawed like everyone else, and begin using our influence to lavish grace and love on those around us.