Friday, April 06, 2012

In the Eyes and Minds of Men

Jennifer Fulwiler on Thomas Merton’s Prophetic Warning About Social Media:

Merton talked about his desire to see himself "externalized in a public and printed and official self." In his time, the ways to create this kind of "externalized self" were limited. If you were a writer you could get something published, or if you were an actor maybe you could have a role in a movie, but there weren't a lot of other ways to form a separate, public persona and value it according to the response it received. Now, anyone with an internet connection has this option.

There are a lot of great things about social media; I think that, overall, Facebook, Twitter, and other similar technology add value to our lives in the way they keep us connected with one another. But we need to be careful that our use of this kind of media doesn't lead us to fall into the same temptation Merton did over half a century ago, to aspire to live in the eyes and minds of men.