So I recently entered the #digifaith competition ‘Christian Writing in a Digital Age’. The brief was to write a blog post of no more than 450 words about an aspect of Christian writing and had to include something to do with writing, something to do with faith and something to do with the digital age. Right up my street! I didn’t win but here’s my entry anyway…
You know what? I love living in the digital age. I love that I can get hold of my teenager at any second of the day or night (she, not so much). I love that if I’m lost in the wilds of Sussex (yes, it has been known) I can Google my way out. I love that I can get the answer to any question in the entire world, with a swipe of my finger (ok so it may not actually be the right answer). And I really love social media. I am a tweeter, a facebooker, instagramer, blogger… just can’t get enough of it.
I am also a Jesus follower.
Thing is, being in a digital age, you never quite know quite how much is digital and how much is ‘real’ do you? Society seems to be obsessed with ‘persona’ and this digitalness enables us to be whoever we want to be. It’s like ‘Ikea’ for people: pick your sofa, pick your hairstyle; pick your character, pick your past… Adverts scream at us from the peace of our own Facebook pages, ‘YOU can be different, you can be BETTER, you can be whatever you want’. ‘If you buy this brand of Wellington boot, with one splash of the Dorset mud you will instantly be transformed into ‘Yummy Mummy’ or ‘Wear this shade of lipstick and you will become an irresistible sultry goddess with one swift swipe of the stick….’ You know what I mean, I’m sure. And I think secretly we all have a bit of us that wants to be something else, or someone else… so we fall for it, the appeal of not being ourselves for a while. The digital age just means we can carry out this charade with perfect ease. Pick your stereotype, chose an avatar, write a few posts and away you go. You are now Mysterious Mable from Marylebone, with a penchant for flavoured tea and an expert baker (of course).
So, where does that leave us? Christians awash in a sea of falsity? Well, how about this?: let’s be real! There is enough tosh out there for an eternity. Some of my favourite blogs are Christians being real, sharing their lives, but at the same time acknowledging that there is something more to life – and I don’t mean their latest Egyptian cotton sheets, or the rescued chickens perusing their ‘oh so charming’ gardens – but that the something more, is the true and living God. Here’s the thing, we actually do have a real message to share and a true and perfect persona to reveal. If we want to be like someone else, let it be Jesus.
If you’re interested you can see the results/winning blogs via the digifaith blog here.