There is good and bad to this new fashioned (now apparently becoming outdated) thing called blogs…where did that word ever come from…who knows? I don’t. I would guess it is a mashing of the word “bibliography” and “log” as in” log book” or something like that. Whatever! But it has been a great way to stay in touch with people and see what they are doing in their lives. It can be kind of like getting a letter in the mail; albeit a letter that is shared with who knows how many people. But it has been a good way to see and share photos, as well as a fun way to connect with people…much as Facebook, I suppose. I actually did Facebook, before I ever blogged. In fact, I believe that Facebook prepared my "psyche" for blogging…it enabled me to feel comfortable and convinced me that somehow it really is ok to share thoughts with people one doesn’t even know. I suspect that is true for a lot of people. When a norm changes in society, it is always done gradually. While not meaning to give a negative example here, the analogy of the frog in the hot water fits from what I am trying to say. Throw a frog into boiling water, and he will jump out, put the frog in water of a normal temperature, and turn the heat up slowly and the frog will be boiled to death. That is how our society changes, it must change slowly for people to accept the change. But I love blogs! We simply wouldn’t have found them so acceptable - say in the 40’s or 50’s. That is all I am trying to state. This does, however, lead me to the downside of the blogging world.
The downside of blogs is that one can get so much incorrect information. Now granted the personal blogs are mostly just opinions, and thoughts and ideas about any number of things. But there are also blogs that are opinions that are being written as fact. Especially concerning, are the political blogs, or the ones about faith. Well really, disconcerting is any blog that claims to be a resource about a particular topic that is in reality only the author’s opinion.
I know there are some people that do not condone blogs because they can be too egocentric and focused on self. I suppose there can be some truth to that. But I don’t view any of the blogs I read in that manner. And really that should be a personal conviction; not a directive from any one person to another. There is certainly nothing in Scripture that tells us not to write about our lives.
My pastor has often stated, “Don’t get into that blogging world.” It is just not healthy. (Not an exact quote, but simply the main idea.) And he is absolutely right, if one is looking to back up facts, or statistics, or a belief system from blogs. His concern was that there is too much wrong information out there influencing people incorrectly. And he could not be more correct about that. I am certain he wasn’t talking about the personal blogs that simply share their lives, recipes, and photos of their families. But when one writes to change an idea, influence opinions, or present ideas as facts, it is then we need to be concerned.
Honestly, it is my belief that blogs are an important reason for so much of the distortion in Biblical teachings, church doctrine and inconsistent dogma permeating the church today. People that don’t study the Word properly read something on a blog and somehow it becomes a fact in their lives. They believe it because they found it on the internet, without properly validating sources. This idea seemingly written in innocence spreads and spreads and pretty soon we have a little sect built out of someone’s personal idea that may be contrary to Scripture. I am 60 years old, I have been a Christian a long time and in all those years I have never seen such a myriad of differences in our faith as we see today. I believe the internet and blogs are partly responsible for that.
I think this is true in the political world as well. Someone writes incorrectly about something that may have happened or something someone may have done, and then with an incorrect spin of facts, careers can be built or destroyed. Values can not only be influenced, but totally changed, by things that catch fire and run rampant with an incorrect ideology or statement.
While the internet can be a great place to get information, it is also a very dangerous place. We all know that. Blogs have definitely influenced our society. There are just no two ways about that. I mean it is difficult enough getting accurate information from supposed trustworthy news sources, but add personal blogs to the mix and it is nearly impossible to keep facts pure unless one is to do their own research. And even then, one must be very careful in the sources they choose to use in their research. Facts must be footnoted and the footnotes must be from a valid, trustworthy source, or they have no meaning at all.
I have always tried to be very careful, to check facts from more than one source if I am reading something that claims to be truth. I make sure that the sources I check are a site that I trust and know to be accurate. I am certainly not going to trust a site that makes any kind of blanket claim, if they have a monetary stake in the game. If they stand to make money off their claim, then I want to research that even further and deeper.
When I am blogging (or Facebooking) I try never to link to an author, or post a quote from an author (for example) that I know is mostly wrong in their beliefs, or agendas. Even if I happen to like one thing they say, no way am I going to post something from them that would cause someone else to go to their works (book, movie or blog) and thereby be misled with the rest of the person’s ideas that maybe dangerously inaccurate. I take very seriously that which I share is not something that will mislead someone in anyway…especially when it comes to the Word of God or something shared in the political realm. Those two things are very important to me, and in fact I believe should not be separated from one another, as the trend seems to be these days…but that is for another post. I am not talking about the separation of church and state here. That is another example, however, of something that has been totally misconstrued in these later years of our nation…but like I said…that’s for a whole other post.
As well, I tried to be very careful about the books, I kept in my bookstore. I simply did not want to share anything from any author that held inaccurate beliefs in the way of faith or religion. It was probably my undoing, but I did not want to be one who was helping to spread all the incorrect doctrines that are permeating the church today. Those false beliefs have since become even more rampant.
Anyway, I am getting off track again. Back to blogs…what a curious thing in our society! Certainly blogs have been a way to share news, and ideas and hobbies and faith. Just about everything can be and has been shared in the blogging world. Most of that is good. I just don't know how careful we have been to keep that which is truth, strictly truth. For a lover of truth, (which I truly am and always want to be) my first two words in the blogging world say it all, “Me? blog?”
I only want to be careful, in what I read and what I write, when I decide to write facts. I hope others are careful as well. I want to enjoy many personal blogs for a long time to come. But more than that, I hope the blogs that seek to do harm in our society are exposed for what they really are.
Me? blog? I hope, only in and for truth.