Pondering the Interweb

Information overload. Like bugs swarming around the porch light at night. A feeding frenzy of information so intense that it’s hard to glean anything. The internet. In the past few years it’s grown by leaps and bounds–or maybe twitches and spasms would be a better description, violent and sudden. The internet is unlike any media man has dealt with before. Text, information, sound, video, animation, feedback, instant gratification, chats, online everything and anything with “e” for a prefix, from e-mail to e-commerce. But how can we effectively harness this new power? Some companies have succeeded tremendously, earning millions in months. Others have disappeared into cyberspace, lost in the web.

And what about those lost in the dark corners of cyberspace? For that’s probably the most interesting discussion. Unlike TV, the internet offers an unlimited number of channels. Everyone can have their own. Your own personal EdTv, so to speak. Look at me, I have my own page. But will anyone find it in the midst of the information overload? Will anyone search and exclaim with a loud “yahoo” that they found my site?

Eye candy, ear candy, brain candy. There’s so much out there, will we forget to stop and smell the flowers? The air conditioning creates a bubble like atmosphere, and so I stepped out for a moment of fresh, humid air. The night is calm, overcast, and quiet. A few drops dot the pavement, but my mind clears and opens to the possibilities.

The young purists want to change the world. They dream of something grand, something new, something that’s never been done before. The skeptics laugh, and try to bring things back to the real world of advertising, money, and success. But that’s not what it’s about. Hundreds who have gone before have dealt with the same thing. That won’t sell. Try this instead. This is catchy. This sells. Did anyone think Walt Whitman would sell? Was Emily Dickinson worried about profit margins? How many publishers scoffed at C.S. Lewis? People in the past have taken the risk and pushed the boundaries. Sure, many have failed. Many magazines have folded, many publishers have run dry, many web sites have been infested with cobwebs. But who says that following the paved road is the road to the goal? What map are you looking at? The paved road is the road to success, but success is not our goal. Our goal is something more. Changed lives. Challenged hearts. Renewed dreams. Who says that the narrow road leads to destruction? The wide road leads to destruction, although you wouldn’t know it in this life. But we were meant for something better than this. We’ve been called to something more.

Don’t let us crash and burn, “…let us fly high on wings like eagles.” (Isaiah 40:31 NLT)

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