May 24, 2016

a relationship called i - part one


what kind of world are we living in? …

what will the next generation be like? …

what kind of society will my future children grow up in? …

these are questions i reflect on more and more with every passing day. nowadays, it is fairly easy to slip into a “cynic blues”. The road of cynicism is neverending and you end up spiralling downward into a place of darkness, a house without windows, brooding over a boiling pot of worries.   

one topic that addresses the current state of our young generation is that of ‘relationships’. yesterday, a study ("generation what") was released where 650,000 young people from across Europe were asked several questions.

the (frightening) result: they can do without 'God', but not without the internet.

their worship takes place at the altar of Google; their trinity is Facebook, Instagram and the ‘holy’ Tweet. their relationship to the iphone is more valuable and real than their relationship to a creator (or even their parents).

several years ago, one was able to predict a future where the ‘other’ – a living person – was going to be moved into the background of daily activities. at the rate we are going at, the virtual self is becoming more relevant and appealing than the actual ‘real’ self.

our conversations have been reduced to a brief chat until one person gets bored and pretends to have something better to do, but really just doesn’t want to spend any more time on you. the switch to another chat partner is done instantly, preventing (perhaps in most cases) a deep meaningful conversation.

our opinions and thoughts have been reduced to 144 characters. strangely, people often don’t even use that space (or publicity) to share anything significant. what is even more strange is that celebrities have arguments via twitter, exposing the absurdity of the entire twitter-verse.

our emotions are expressed by clicking ‘like’…and we should really express our ‘like’ or thumbs up for facebook granting us a few more ‘virtual feelings’, e.g. ‘wow’, ‘haha’, ‘love’ etc.

as a matter of fact, the way i currently feel about our future is a mix of ‘wow-haha-sad-angry-love’. it goes as far as having become a type of mantra or repetitive approach to global events.

whenever i read any news, i first think ‘wow’ – can this actually be true or happening?

then it goes ‘haha’ – either nervous laughter because it ACTUALLY is true and it IS happening or simply just an inner chuckle.

depending on the news, my emotions fluctuate between ‘sad’, ‘angry’, and ‘love’. although ‘love’ really comes on strong.

i feel sad because i know humanity could be destined for so much greater.
i get angry because i know injustice need not exist and the world could be a better place.

love, on the other hand, is solely reserved for pictures of kittens and other cute animals that make all the other previous emotions wash away.

in essence, that is why the internet is such a social phenomenon. nowhere – not even in a library – are you able to indulge yourself in all kinds of emotions…a rollercoaster or a firework of emotions, figuratively speaking.

the internet is an exciting thing and gives us the impression that we are free to do anything we want. for all the positive effects it could have on the world, it also harbours evil beyond all understanding.

the porn industry has never been more powerful and defiles the youngest of minds with horrendous images. ANYTHING can be found in the internet. there are no bounds…no limits to someone’s sordid imagination. the incongruity between a human-being enjoying the internet and another human physically being portrayed IN the internet and used for slavery is a fact.

the internet softens reality and makes it appear as a blurry spot – a tiny blemish on humanity’s historical record. the truth is that perhaps no invention since the clock has had this much of an impact on the shaping of society. it is changing EVERYTHING!  

without doubt, the internet is an amazing tool for those who know how to use it. but is there such a thing as a ‘right way’ to use the internet? if there is, it hasn’t been made clear in those sectors where people would learn about. i am referring to schools, who have an increased responsibility to teach the new generation how to approach the internet.

i am not talking about how to use Google or how to tweet. i would like to see how morality is addressed in a universe that has no boundaries.

of course young people have placed the internet on the throne of their daily lives. the internet doesn’t give them moral guidance (not specifically at least). it doesn’t teach them “right” from “wrong”.

it has one goal, and one goal only: to spew out information like a volcano spews out lava. our perception of information has significantly changed, because it is so readily available. ignorance or ‘not knowing’ is no longer a valid excuse.

“if you don’t know something, just Google it!”

we require a (moral) filter for all the information we receive on a daily basis. you and I have to decide what to do with the emotions provoked/evoked by the stuff we see/read/share. we have to decide what to believe. you cannot just take something at face value anymore. Everything must be questioned.

that, in itself, can be good. we require a generation that does question decisions made by people in power. at the same time, this generation has to answer the question whether God can exist. and if He/She/It does, whether He/She/It is worth more than Google.

personally, I have arrived at a place where the ‘Christian’ God is the only thing that makes sense to me and my relationship to Him is and “feels” just as (or sometimes even more) real than interacting with someone on Whatsapp.

questions left unanswered, with a relativist attitude lingering behind the scenes, will sooner or later turn someone into more than a cynic. A life without truth is a life of moral deficiency, because the truth is an absolute, just as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.

therefore, i do not to leave any stone unturned. yet, while i pick it up, i remember who created it in the first place. i remember that, while I might be standing in sinking sand, God is the stick i can hold on to.

the internet may be my house, and that is totally fine. but He is the window that lets in light.