January 1, 2017

The Digital Front Porch: An Introduction

First, a pointed disclaimer:  I thoroughly despise the Christian blogosphere.

I know that sounds like heresy coming from a pastor, but hear me out. 

One of the things that’s made my Facebook experience so much better is the little dropdown arrow at the top-right corner of posts.  When third-party websites or Facebook accounts are shared, it gives the option to block all posts from that party.  I’ve made a consistent practice out of doing this with pretty much every post I’ve seen from popular Christian bloggers for well over a year, (with the exception of my Mom, of course).  As a result, my news feed has been largely free of the Christian blogosphere’s presence, much to my relief. 

I’ve made such a concentrated effort to rid my social media presence of those influences because what I refer to as the Christian blogosphere has degenerated into little more than a political sounding board erected in a theological minefield.  Whether it be organizations or individuals, too many Christian bloggers are using their online presence primarily for political and social engineering.   Some have even taken up the mantle of the radio shock-jocks, with provocative, controversial headlines designed to generate the clicks.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because if you’re still on this page after reading all that, you need to know that I want nothing to do with the Christian blogosphere I’ve just described. 

So, what you should expect from this blog, then?

Every time I write a guest post for one of my Mom’s blogs, she tells me that I should start blogging, because I have such a “way with words.”  I think she’s meant that I should put out one of the many devotional style blogs that you see around.  But, the truth is, I’ve tried that more than once in the past, and it always quickly fizzled out.  Some people just aren’t cut out for that style of writing, and I’m one of them—and no, it’s not the same as sermon preparation.  Besides, I’ve some fine family and colleagues who are producing solid material to that end—the foremost of whom is Mom herself, whose blogs are quite great.

That’s not to say that nothing I put here will be focused on my faith, though.  Quite the contrary—the Lord is at the core of my life, and that’s the basis of my worldview--though, to be clear, I don't talk very much about politics these days unless I'm asked.  So, if you’re looking for something designed to supplement your devotions, a political opinion page, or a doctrinal or theological treatise, I'm afraid you may be disappointed by the frequency and content of the posts most of the time.  Again, I highly recommend my Mom's blogs for that purpose, especially to you ladies.

When I do write, which is pretty rare, I get the most fulfillment when I simply put my thoughts on the digital page.  

That's why social media is such a wonderful innovation to me.  It lends itself to that style of writing. But, even then, I often hold back—more than I probably should, in fact.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve put fingers to keyboard to express thoughts that weighed heavily on my mind, only to either delete the writing or, in rare cases, save them to my hard drive.  I’ve done so because I’ve suspected that my words wouldn’t be well received, especially not on a shared community like Facebook.

You see, the things I have on my mind aren’t always peppy, happy, and upbeat. 

They are, however, always real.

But, that can rub people the wrong way, especially coming from someone in my vocation (a subject that I may explore more deeply down the line).  Sometimes, though, serious thoughts need to be expressed.  Expressing these serious thoughts, whether verbally or on social media, usually results in someone getting upset for one reason or another—and, since I hate upsetting people, I usually just keep my mouth shut. 

But, this isn’t a shared community.  

Sure, there’s a comment section, and you're welcome to use it—encouraged to, even—but it’s moderated, and it’s going to stay that way.  This is my cyber-territory, and this is where I’m going to attempt to express those not always rose colored, but always genuine thoughts.

An acquaintance of mine once referred to social media as a digital front porch that wraps around the globe.  Your front porch is one of those places where you can sit down and shoot the breeze about anything that’s on your mind.  Nothing is off-limits on your front porch unless you decide it is, and you can talk forever or say nothing at all.

So, that’s what you can expect here.

This is my Digital Front Porch.  

If you want to, you can feel free to pull up a rocker and sit awhile.  Yeah, it's just me expressing my thoughts and opinions; but, that's what a front porch is for.  Besides, what good is expression if you're expressing yourself to no one?  Nobody talks just to hear themselves talk.  So, I'd love for you to join me, friend.  I do like good company.

No comments:

Post a Comment