Silence is golden

a person sitting on wooden planks across the lake scenery

An article from The Atlantic last week weighed in on the burning issue of social media and the menace it presents to civil society. While writer Ian Bogost spends most of his time trying to unpack ways to improve social media, his opening thoughts caught our attention: maybe we just talk too much

Bogost points out that social media is brimming with chatterers, eager to find larger audiences for their chatter. He wonders if the appeal of social media might be curbed if our contacts or our audience was limited to just a few. Would we pay more attention to what we posted if we were only allowed to post weekly? Bogost quotes a media scholar in the article who says “the problem with Facebook is Facebook.” However, those who have insight into fallen human nature might beg to differ – the problem with social media is people.

While digital tools present their own challenges, it is interesting that this liberal author acknowledges the value of less noise. Scientists know that absolute silence can drive you insane, but Mad Christians don’t need convincing that a bit of quiet is good for the soul. Bogost points out that before digital media, we spoke less frequently and to less people. It’s a rare thing to find some space that isn’t filled with talk today but Finland is an interesting case study. Finns are famously light on small talk, happy to sit quietly, if there is nothing important to discuss. Social media would be a very different place if people kept some thoughts to themselves.

The book of Ecclesiastes points to the “babbler” who “multiplies his words” with his talk ending in “raving madness”. Proverbs has much to say on the subject of speech. Wise men spare their words. We know there is wisdom in discerning when to speak and when to hold our tongues. Untethering from the white noise machines can be difficult, but maybe some advice from Mr Bogost can help – when it comes to speaking, go for quality over quantity.

Them’s fightin’ words

Joy Pullman has come out swinging, in a recent article for The Federalist, saying that the time for “aw shucks” conservatism is over. She doesn’t mince her words when she writes “If you say a man is a man and I say a man is a woman, we can’t get anywhere until that is sorted out. Likewise, the insistence that the United States is fundamentally good — not perfect, but good — is wholly incompatible with the new left’s insistence that it is fundamentally evil. You can’t live in a house with a person who wants to burn it down.” She calls on her readers to stand up. “Now is the time for champions to arise, to stop feeding the beasts, and start fighting them. Ask yourself, ‘What would it mean for me to do that where I am?’ And then start doing it.” Mad Christians are here for it.

When you’ve read your Psalms, take some inspiration from Rev Fisk’s current musical cup of Joe. “It’s our resistance, they can’t resist us.”