Thursday, June 11, 2009

God Reads All Tweets

I read an article yesterday from Relevant magazine that slammed Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace and other social networking sites because they are inherently narcissistic. That is, they invite people to blather on about meaningless details in their lives only a mother could consider important. And I have to admit as I read the ubiquitous "25 Things About me and my toenails" or "How well do you really know John Doe? on Facebook, I question the ultimate micro-niche audience that must exist for these stories.
But then I wondered, what makes us want to tell all these details to random strangers, or at least to a gaggle of folk who haven't been close to us since elementary school? Is it really narcissism, or is it something different? I think (to make a gross generalization) people want intimacy. They want to be known. They have a legitimate desire for others to know them through the mundane details of their lives. We all have a hunch that we should matter, and that isn't narcissism.

To be fair, our celebrity culture, with it's paparazzi-driven obsession over the details of famous people's lives invites self-worship. We all want to be famous, even if it is for fifteen minutes (or 140 characters) of fame. But social networking sites turn that trend on it's ear, making celebrities their own journalists. Twitter puts the power back into the hands of celebrities themselves, giving them the power to release what details they desire. It's authentic self-disclosure, rather than a breathless "scoop."

So how did we develop this hunch of importance? If we are but an accident of randomly arranged atoms, self-importance is the ultimate hoax. But if we're more than that, if someone or something made us, and cares about us, then it makes complete sense. One metaphor in Scripture for God is that of Father. I'm a dad, so I know a bit about that experience. Good dad's watch over their kids. We are familiar with the constant refrain, "Look dad!" No detail of my childrens' day is too miniscule for my attention. They're my kids, so I care.

God has that kind of watch care over us. He is a Father who cares about every detail of our lives, no matter how mundane.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

(Matthew 10:29-31)

I find it interesting that the logo page for Twitter includes a small sparrow, presumably Tweeting away in his tree. The truth of the Scripture is that God listens to all her tweets, and cares for each sparrow's fall. That's encouraging to me, because it means my hunch of importance is confirmed in a Father who listens and is always interested and who always cares.

What I'm trying to say is, God reads all Tweets. Thank goodness, because I don't.


Anonymous said...

Excellent take on it. Well written!

Ravin2 said...

Thank you for articulating this idea that has been in my head. As it goes, you just said what I was thinking so much clearer than I was thinking it.

I also liked the way the first 85% of your post was adding new ideas then one of the final sentences wrapped up the entire idea. It was a great quote sentence, I'll probably tweet it (@Kevin1Mahan)