Friday, January 09, 2009

Longing to be Known

In the latest Relevant Magazine, there's an article entitled The Problem of Pride in the Age of Twitter written by Brett McCracken. In it he looks at the rise of technology and social sites that provide virtual community. Although his tone is rather bleak (I disagree that we are fundamentally boring), I think he has a good point regarding our desire to be known. Similar to my post yesterday, if we are not careful, we can allow our "status" and info on Twitter or Facebook (or blogs!) feed our narcissism.

Here's a couple paragraphs:
"We've become obsessed with 'status,' but not status in the sense of being objectively measurable (as in our class or social status), but status in the attention-deficit sense of 'what I am doing right now.' Communication is no longer about learning things from people or sharing experiences; it's about knowing what they're doing and how they're feeling--or at least how they want the world to perceive them as such.

Our lives have suddenly become much more dramatic, worthy of being 'performed' on a stage visible to millions. But since when are our lives so interesting that we feel compelled to share them with the world? Do we have delusions of grandeur? Perhaps it's not primarily the fact that we can tell our stories to the world, but that--more so than ever before--we desperately long to.

There is a real sense of emptiness in this generation. We've grown up in relative stability and lived borderline boring lives. For most of us, mo major wars, crises, famines or holocausts have plagued our lives. Meanwhile, we've consumed more media than ever--living in movies, television shows, video games and other fantasy worlds. There's been a dissonance between who we are (boring, unknown) and what the media has made us want to be (interesting, glamorous, famous). The result is a massive cultural longing to be known. Not by a few, but by many."


  1. i would disagree somewhat with him too...don't think it's our situation/culture that's making us desire to be known; we're created that way. Our culture does make that longing deeper as it doesn't help fulfill it as Christ does. I need to read the full article though...

  2. I agree with Scott...and i'm sure you'd say the same David, that we were made to be known. But the way culture says we fulfill that is not exactly the way the bible would suggest we go about it. i dont know if culture encourages us to pursue being known in the ways we really long/were made to be known as much as it encourages us to be "known about" and "thought of"...and i think that definitely feeds our little prideful, narcisistic, naval gazing tendancies. i think culture feeds us (and i am totally guilty of buying in...) lots of half-truths that make us think we're getting the "real thing," only we're really "licking the earth" so to speak and feeding ourselves with a bunch of crap that is actually not what was promised/advertised at all.

    i def struggle to with the whole blogging/facebook thing not becoming another outlet for me to glorify myself or project a certan image of myself for others to see. its gross really...and how do we hold eachother accountable to that as members of His fam?! I know i could use some encouragement/wisdom in that respect for sure!