Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tweet Society

Twitter and Facebook are social revolutions. It's amazing how the latter has connected me with friends I'd lost touch with. It provides me with daily snapshots into people's lives. We are more connected than ever.

But then we are only connecting with sentences or 140 characters at a time. And newspapers are nearly dead. (Personally I've never been a "read the paper" kind of guy.) And part of newspapers going "toes-up" has to do with the convenience of online news. But I wonder how much it has to do with our collective lack of desire to read the whole story versus clicking around to the news headlines.

We as a society are into tweets and sound bytes, more than the whole story. I think we want just enough info to convince ourselves that we "know," and enough to provide us a platform to tweet an opinionated response.

Recently Pat Robertson made some remarks in the wake of Haiti's hideous quakes. Immediately Facebook was ablaze with Christian's hanging him out to dry. I wondered what all the hubbub was about, so I googled his videoed remarks in whole.

After listening to all of what he said and how he said it, I wondered if we'd listened to the whole of his comments. I'm not a Robertson "fan," I simply wondered if people had bothered to hear more than a tweet.

And interestingly, I thought later..."It's probably a good bet that Robertson and his enraged Christian brothers may share the same heaven some day."

Personally I've watched a Mark Driscoll videos where he trashes The Shack and Rob Bell. I'd turned him off and thought, "What a douche!" Couple interesting point here:

1. I'm guilty of making a "tweet judgment" on Driscoll. I've judged him on sound bytes. In reality I'm sure he gets a lot of things right and we'll hopefully be in heaven together some day.

2. Having read The Shack and the Rob Bell book he referenced, my take is, he is making "tweet judgments" about both of these things. So he is not a douche. He's just done a douchey thing ;-)

(I don't think I need to even go into how both sides of the political isle sound byte each other to death making "tweet judgments" ad nauseam.)

Here's what I know about you, me and every person I have taken the time to know. None of us are tweetable. God has designed us with too much complexity and nuance to be summed up in 140 characters.

No christian, no unbeliever, no politician, no celebrity, no sports figure--no one--can be reduced to a tweet. And when I do that, then I judge. And judgment and love don't tend to go together.

If you followed me around for a few days and tweeted your observations, it might look like this:

"Wow, what a douche."
"That was very kind and caring."
"Seriously, what a lazy sack."
"Praying yet again?!"
"That was kind of selfish."
"He really loves his family."
"That's too much TV."
"He's really trying to live for God."

We are all too wonderfully made, too complex and too weird to accurately tweet. Every person that we struggle with, be they in the national spotlight or the other room--is worthy of positive and negative tweets. No one is as good or bad as people say they are.

So let's slow down.
More love. Less judge.
People--the one's we loath and the ones we love--are books, not tweets. So unless we're ready to read the whole thing, perhaps we should find a productive hobby.

And yes, I'll probably tweet this ;-)

Peace. -Morgan