Feb 2006    

BLOGGING is a common phenomenon among those who have utilised the Internet frequently.

A blog is a shortened form for “weblog”. This word has been broken into the phrase “we blog”. A blog is an online publication of numerous posts of individuals and groups who write about their daily experiences and views that would be communicated to friends and strangers.

Besides offering the advantages of speed, immediacy and interaction with diverse audiences, blogging also provides another route to publicise opinions and feelings by adopting a playful persona. Others advertise, to some extent, a particular product. But such effective communication would also need to pay a price. Frustrating words, sarcasm and incredulous treatises are present that create a tension between integrity and credibility.

To some, blogging is a means of free speech, while others claim that blogging requires courage. While the bloggers enjoy the self-therapy through the candid expression, they are fearful that their elders will think that they are misbehaving in the virtual space. Self-consciousness is mixed with excitement. A courageous act is also tainted by guilt.

Is blogging an expression of courage? Is it trying to free itself from one’s wrangling with social norms and expectation? This freedom to express one’s true feeling and be at peace with oneself is extremely appealing to those who could not get their messages across in any direct communication. It is a serious problem for those who fail to communicate with their loved ones.

According to a web survey company, Perseus Development Corporation, in 2005, 58 per cent of the blogs are the works of 13 to 19-year-olds. Critics might make us believe that teenagers are using blogging as a form of exhibitionism. But an important motive that cannot be ignored is a desire to meet a human need of finding connection and understanding. They might seek the attention of their parents by turning to blogging to voice their frustration.

Respectfulness and diplomacy have degenerated into a problem of communication that highlights a breakdown of human relationship. Without addressing this problem, blogging would be an indication of the growing problem of human communication. Our stunning technology has offered another replacement of dealing with the reality, the problem of communication.

Who can we turn to if we are paying the price of our diplomacy and ethics? Could God be the replacement? At least, He does not talk back to us. We can even choose not to obey Him. Our fear and constraint in direct communication at least would not be revealed in this human-divine communication.

OUR failure in human relationship also reflects our relationship with God. One might hope that God is only listening to all the talking done by the Christian. One is tempted to use whatever available means to manipulate God to entice Him to provide what one really desires. Like those who are seeking attention through blogging, we are also seeking God’s attention when He appears to be not listening to what we have told Him.

While blogging does bring multiple benefits and convenience, we must understand courage in our Christian perspective. Courage belongs to those ordinary events of life, of which man and woman demonstrate boldness and fearlessness, that are derived from knowing the present dangers and foreseeable consequences. In executing their duty they demonstrate knowledge of a God who listens and a faith that does not remain an opinion.

The Christian in this relationship must take responsibility to deal with understanding the divine will and obeying God while the future remains uncertain. Blaming or enticing God according to human desire does not offer any constructive help in nurturing the relationship.

No one could run away from rules and expectations. While we enjoy the fruits of modern technology, we must be reminded of the responsibility of cultivating the real virtue of courage, one that essentially points to “the happiness of a soul which is ‘lifted above every circumstance’.” (Paul Tillich).

We are assured of the divine love in spite of the daily inhibitions. Our blog is not only words of courage but also words of responsibility. Our willingness to demonstrate resilient steadfastness under such circumstances points to our willingness to submit to the divine authority that is established in every sphere of life.


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