Web Wednesday-Blogging Lies

WebsiteOn June 12, 2009, A front page article in the Chicago Tribune told the story of a woman who had been telling everyone that she was pregnant.  People were brought closer to the story when she shared that her baby was terminally ill but had decided to carry it to full term.  All of this was communicated through a web-log or blog and…all of this was a hoax.

You can read the full story HERE.

Many could take such a story and paint anti-abortion activists in a bad light.  Frankly, that would be a weak argument.  Millions of people connecting to a powerful and compelling story is not a sign of irrational behavior.  It is very rational.  It is people connecting to people, reaching out in compassion, and standing strong on what is right in the face of opposition.  We need more of that in our world.  But, this is not the main point of the story.

The main issue here is the power of words…words on the internet…for all to see.

When we write comments on websites, messages on twitter and facebook, or write blog posts (like this one) we tread on difficult ground.  When you are sitting in front of a screen or holding your cell phone it may appear that you are safe from the reaction of others…or that your words…regarless of what they are…are sort of devoid of consequences.  We tell ourselves that no one can be negatively affected or hurt by them because they are just words on the internet.

Thinking and writing in this way is dangerous.  If we think that our words don’t make an impact we are lying to ourselves.  Blogging especially can be full of this sort of sin.  We can hurl insults, question character, and undermine authority and relationships without ever giving stock to the consequences.

If we are too afraid to speak to people face to face, if we are unwilling to be accountable, we shouldn’t be writing what we write.  Doing so undermines the reality and priority of Christian community, spiritual leadership, Biblical Truth, and just normal human interaction.

I’m not naive to think that technology isn’t effecting human interaction, but I do know that it doesn’t excuse sin.

As I write, I want to be appropriate, clear, humble, bold, etc. all under the authority of Scripture, pastors, my friends and my family.  I want to keep in view a goal of pointing to Christ as our all, His Word as our guide and His Spirit at work within us as our treasure and joy.  God helping us.

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One thought on “Web Wednesday-Blogging Lies

  1. I think this story goes so much deeper than just the lying. I followed her story a little bit and you can see it right in the article. She started the blog as a way to deal with the loss that she did actually have of a baby. When she saw how many people were interested, it took off from there and that’s when the lies started. It is someone wanting attention, compassion and probably the depth of a relationship but going about it in all the wrong ways. I am not saying that it was right for her to lie, but I think that with all this social networking – Twitter, texting, Facebook statuses, trying to make blogs popular and read by many – we want to think what we’re doing is important to others; that they care about our every day mundane things. It becomes a thing of pride. You can easily make yourself into someone you’re not. You can make your life in shambles sound beautifully peaceful on a blog. It becomes a springboard to jealousy when you’re seeing all the attention other bloggers get. The lying is certainly not right, but there are so many different sins that can get wrapped up in all this networking stuff. What I hate is that it is taking more and more away from people building those face-to-face relationships, and yes, like you stated – people think they can get away with more hurtful things because it’s so much easier to write than say to someone’s face, which is then where the cyber-bullying comes in.
    Anyways, I’ll stop rambling now.

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