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26-Mar-2020 02:03

Television, smart phones, the Internet itself—there are many contributing factors to the adverse effects of the phenomenon I am calling “social media.” But it is that makes the Internet sizzle with the illusion of life. From the moment he was born I have been possessed by an impulse to photograph him with my i Phone. I want him to grow up in a home that is a safe haven, not a stage. We are in flight from the sacrament of the present moment, and we are using social media as the vehicle for that flight.The comment boxes and share buttons are what turn the screen into a simulacrum of the barbershops of yore. To conform to its methods of relating to people, its conventions and systems, is to risk deforming the face of Christ in our neighbor.My kids were there, but half there, stealing glances at their smart phones, wondering how they’ll tweet about it when I’m gone.#More Story A few minutes here, a few minutes there.My thesis is simple: When it comes to social media, you’ll never wake up with a story to tell. Like AOL’s digital prophet “Shingy,” yet not at all like Shingy, I believe in “storytelling—more story, less telling.”. Grandpa wipes his brow with a camouflage hanky, just like back in ’Nam.“But then,” and here Grandpa’s voice begins to growl, “my old college roommate left a snarky comment.” The children gasp. “I hit the button in the upper right hand corner of my keypad,” he repeats, and then whispers: “ of social media is, in and of itself, not a good story.

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Singing Happy Birthday to your five year-old is a different kind of shared experience than having her strike a pose, hold the cake at just the right angle, taking a picture, and then peering into your smart phone—it’ll only take a sec! However beautiful or funny your selfies look, however witty or cute your status updates sound, as soon as you share a story from your life on Facebook, you’ve just lost a little part of life.My list of concerns is by no mean exhaustive, but I do think most of us feel at a gut level that we are absorbed in a world that is, when talked about in real life, profoundly boring.In emoji terms, my concern is for the fruit of social media; that is, while poop emojis might exist, it is by the fruit that my critique of social media should be judged.It is to risk telling a story that is increasingly not worth telling. Just imagine: someday no one will know it’s your birthday except your mom and a few close friends, and no one except the relatives you invited over will know what’s for dinner!But until then, something is dangerously close to being lost.

Singing Happy Birthday to your five year-old is a different kind of shared experience than having her strike a pose, hold the cake at just the right angle, taking a picture, and then peering into your smart phone—it’ll only take a sec! However beautiful or funny your selfies look, however witty or cute your status updates sound, as soon as you share a story from your life on Facebook, you’ve just lost a little part of life.

My list of concerns is by no mean exhaustive, but I do think most of us feel at a gut level that we are absorbed in a world that is, when talked about in real life, profoundly boring.

In emoji terms, my concern is for the fruit of social media; that is, while poop emojis might exist, it is by the fruit that my critique of social media should be judged.

It is to risk telling a story that is increasingly not worth telling. Just imagine: someday no one will know it’s your birthday except your mom and a few close friends, and no one except the relatives you invited over will know what’s for dinner!

But until then, something is dangerously close to being lost.

Somewhere a child is pulling her mom’s hand in the condiments aisle: “Just a sec, sweetie.