Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Age of Instant Media. . . Is Changing the World

Cairo has a special place in my heart having lived there for a couple of years. Even the entire Arab world is always on my radar. I know I posted recently of the changing world under the innovations such as Facebook and Twitter.

To be clear, I'm not saying these things are always a blessing nor are they of the devil, but, like most inventions of humans, they can be used for great good and horrible destruction.

In summary, the Arab world as a whole, lives under the thumb of dictators. It fits easily into their fatalistic view of the world. They also don't share the true Christian belief that all people have tremendous, intrinsic value simply because they are created in God's image. So the tension comes when this basic principal of nature (God's created nature) is violated. Where the common people are seen and treated as "common." Some of the dictators are more benevolent than others. All are corrupt. Some are brutal. But, the main point, is that until now the vast majority of citizens have had no voice. But now, Facebook and Twitter (and blogs) have given them this voice.

I was reading on BBC yesterday that the huge protests in downtown Cairo (I recognize the buildings and can see the university where I studied Arabic) were organized through Facebook. That is really remarkable. I don't know if people realize the power of the net. It really is the net and not Facebook per se, that has the power. If Facebook didn't come onto the scene something like it eventually would have. I predict that all the governments in the Arab world, plus Iran, will either have to drastically become more responsive to the people or they will tumble like in Tunisia.

But of course in each of these countries are a population from 10 to 25 percent who want Sharia (Islamic) law. If those take the power, then great harm could come. They are opportunists and will exploit any revolution.

So how does this relate to Christianity? Everything does one way or the other. In the age of rapid communication the Church has to adapt.


Jaimie said...

A friend of mine did her thesis on Iran and New Media, dealing with this very subject. It definitely is world-changing.

jmj said...

I think people don't realize how much the world is changing. That sounds like a great topic for a thesis.

Now I'm this eternal optimist about the future of life here on planet earth. I see the Internet, while it can bring much harm, will also bring a lot of light. The good-ole-boys, Souther Baptist deacons can't sexually molest their children anymore, the way they did back in the 50s, in the age of Facebook. The stories will get out.

The same is true with brutal dictators in the developing world. They can't get by with secretly eliminating whole ethnic groups . . . now. The first time they start to round out people for rape and torture (as in Darfur)the world will know about it. While the response was weak, eventually justice will rise to the top and there will be freedom in Southern Sudan.

Of course, like I've said there is a dark side. Many juveniles being seduced by dirty old men via the Internet, etc. But my hopes is that where's there more light, there is less cockroaches.