Tuesday, August 10, 2010


In his blog post yesterday, blogger extraordinaire Tim Challies writes about the idol of communication. It is a fact; we are adept at making idols of anything. Here is his opening paragraph:

In this digital world, communications dominates. In 2010 141 million blogs were active, 1,052,803 books published, 4.5 billion text messages sent, 175 billion letters mailed, 247 billion emails delivered. Do you see the scope of it? Communication is all the rage. It is what we do for business, education, entertainment, devotion. While people have always communicated and have probably always wanted to communicate more, what is unique in our time is its sheer dominance. What has changed is not the fact that we can communicate and that we like to communicate, but the scope of the it, the speed of it and the reach of it. It is now the dominant paradigm through which we live our lives. Perhaps amidst all of the communication we are prone to forget that we do not need to communicate all the time or that it is not wise to do so all the time. It may be that communication is not always good, that it brings problems even with all of its benefits

This made me think:

  • Why is it that there is so much communication, yet most will say that the number one issue in marriages, business, and organizations is a lack of communication?
  • Why is it that with so much communication, there’s not a lot being said of substance?
  • How will this impact future generations when they want to write our history? If most communication is electronic, how will future historians study our culture if there are no letters or journals?
  • With 141 million active blogs, who in the world do I think I am?


Jeff said...

I, too, have wondered how digital communication will affect the recording of history. Not so much national or world history, but the smaller histories of families and individuals. I enjoy thumbing through my childhood in my parent's photo albums, but photo albums, themselves, are a piece of history. As one of the 140+ million active bloggers, I feel like I am recording thoughts and events for my children to reflect back on someday, but should I be leaving them more in "hardcopy", rather than just digital? Hmmm.

Ron Starcher said...

Thanks for that insight Jeff. I just finished another book on Jonathan Edwards, and it made me wonder what we would know about him today if it were not for the diaries, letters, and treatises he left. Hard copies of personal journals and correspondence will at least leave a legacy for our children.