Dear Superfriends and Blogofans,
I crave your input (and no, that’s not meant to be a dirty joke). While it has been my joy to be the favorite Internet Heretic Superstar for a small following, I’ve lately begun to reflect on and reevaluate my place in the online world.
On the one hand, as my wife recently pointed out to me, this blog has come to occupy the same mental space that my old Community Chaplaincy used to occupy in my mind, heart, and time. It seems to be a place where fellow outcasts and like-minded spiritual explorers can find good news.
On the other hand, between the blogosphere and Facebook, I am daily finding someone or something that really sets my blood to boil. I’m finding it more and more difficult to maintain my own personal commitment to sanity and civility when it comes to religious and political dialogue. You might say that I’m steadily developing a case of road rage on the Information Superhighway.
I fear that the anonymity, isolation, and forced terseness of online social media is severely lowering the bar for effective public discourse in our society. To put it bluntly: we seem to be losing our ability to communicate.
Nowhere is this observed tendency more obvious to me than in my own psyche. My fuse is shorter and my patience thinner than they used to be. In my best moments, I am exhausted from having to be the bigger person while I bear witness to online behaviors that are, frankly, cruel and stupid. In my worst moments, I have participated in those same cruel and stupid behaviors. Either way, I’m sick of it.
So, I’m thinking that it might be time for me to take a break from blogging and Facebooking.
What I want to know from you, Superfriends and Blogofans, is this:
Does my online presence (on this blog or on Facebook) contribute significantly to my relationship with you? If I don’t know you personally, does it contribute meaningfully to your own personal growth?
If the answer to either of those questions is ‘Yes’, I would sincerely like to know. That way, I can make a better-informed decision about whether:
a. this exercise is worth continuing
b. it would be better for me to unplug from this online drain of human mental and moral capacities.
I want to hear your thoughts. Please leave them in the comments section.