Thursday, February 05, 2009

Trueman on Virtual Friendship

Carl Trueman--who confesses that he still does all of his typing with just two fingers, and also that he found out that his son has a girlfriend because his mom in England saw it on Facebook!--argues in his latest article that "one of the key problems with internet friendships, with texting, with blogs etc. is the lack of the body in the means of communication and relationship." How should the church react and respond?
We must teach people by precept and example that real life is lived primarily in real time in real places by real bodies. Pale and pimply bloggers who spend most of their spare time onanistically opining about themselves and their issues and in befriending pals made up of pixels are not living life to the full; nor are those whose lives revolve around videogames; rather they are human amoebas, subsisting in a bizarre non-world which involves no risk to themselves, no giving of themselves to others, no true vulnerability, no commitment, no self-sacrifice, no real meaning or value.
Of course, anybody who has used text messaging, Facebook, blogging, etc. in a sanctified and sanctifying way will argue that Trueman paints with too broad a brush. And they'd be right. But they'd also be missing a timely word in season.