Immersion Staff UPDATE: 11.27.07

It's been awhile. I know. Moving on...

Do you see this?
This is a proposed "communication life expectancy" graph put out in a projections study. You may or may not be familiar with some of the communication mediums listed, but I want to draw your attention to "Blogs" and "F2F" a.k.a. "face to face". In case you're "graphically challenged," the study is showing that blogs will have a greater audience and lifespan expectancy than face-to-face interaction.

This is both alarming and indicative of where our culture is (allegedly) heading: more technology. This graph shows that people would rather read about other people's lives, news, current events, etc., over a computer screen than sitting in front of them having a discussion. Does this surprise you? Scare you? Encourage you?

What implications does this have for the Church? For Immersion? Better yet, take a look at the following video and ask the same questions... What do you think Immersion, what's the best way to integrate (or disintegrate) from our culture? How do we respond to these new forms of technological communication? (Marshall McLuhan would be proud...)


  1. Anonymous said...
    Mind boggling but true..not sure I like the direction that this implies but know it's coming none the less...just like the art of letters - just will be a thing of the past eventually.
    Anonymous said...
    hard to tell for sure without more info about the study, but it looks more like a description of the lifespan/audience/immediacy inherent in the communication medium rather than a prediction of future style preference.

    Something communicated F2F doesn't have much of a lifespan - words come out, then poof, they're gone. No preservation unless I've got a recorder.

    A blog entry hangs around potentially forever.

    I don't think that means this graph is predicting blogs will overtake F2F. I think it's just saying that a blog communication has the potential to reach more people and last longer and my target doesn't have to be there right now in order to receive it.
    Anonymous said...
    The sad thing is we are replacing an inherent desire for relationships (placed in us by God?) with technology that will never satisfy.

    Today people have hundreds of facebook "friends" but very few people who really know them deeply, if at all.

    The popularity of sites like facebook proves that we want others to be involved in our lives, and technology gives us a convenient way to trick ourselves into thinking we're satisfying this desire.

    I guess I feel kind of uncomfortable with the video made by the K-State students. On the surface, it seems to make sense. But something about what they're saying doesn't feel quite right.

    I guess it's hard for me to sympathize with them too much. I remember when I was in college thinking how busy I was all the time with classes, projects, fraternity stuff, and other activities. Now that I have been out of school for several years, I realize that I had way more free time in college than I ever have today. By the time I work 8-9 hours a day, come home, exercise a little, make dinner, check the mail, do the laundry, go grocery shopping, pay bills, and clean the house, I barely have time to sit down and read anything, much less watch TV. That's just the stuff we have to do to live! And then there are the church activities, Bible studies, volunteer programs, and hanging out with friends.

    The other side is that the video kind of makes the point that today's students are not being taught relevant material in relevant ways. Here's the thing: I don't think relevance is the point! What is secretly happening at college is that we are being transformed into individuals who can think, multi-task, deal with others, handle increasing responsibility... talk about relevance! These are the skills of real life - something we don't even know we need, but somehow secretly desire. And college (and young adulthood) give them to us.

    It's kind of like our relationship with God. We try to avoid Him, we resist His calling in our lives, we think we know better and we can make it on our own. We fail to see the "relevance" in God. But God is so good! He blesses us with circumstances and with *people* who (without us knowing) draw us closer to Him. And before we know it, we're deeply connected to Him in ways we thought previously impossible.

    College is good for us. It teaches us to persevere. It teaches us to think critically and forces us to learn good problem solving skills. It teaches us to be efficient with our time. And it teaches us to be efficient in our relationships - to "manage" them like we manage everything else.

    Don't sell yourself short. Don't just "manage" people like you manage your appointments. Trust that God has placed people in your life to help you grow closer to Him.

    Are you listening Immersion? People want to be connected. They want to escape from the facebook fallacy. And they don't know how to do it.

    Being aware of technological trends is important. But another blog is not the answer. The next new social networking site will not fill this hole in our hearts.

    Some see far off places like Mexico or Sierra Leone or Darfur as mission fields - and they are definitely places of great, great need.

    But I believe in addition that God calls us to be in mission not only in the far off places but to those around us as well.

    And there is a much more subtle, yet perhaps just as deadly issue right here in West Des Moines, Iowa.

    We may not be starving for food or shelter, but we are starving to be known. We are starving for God, but we fill up on everything else.

    Just like in college, sometimes we fail to see what's relevant in our daily lives. And make no mistake there is NOTHING more relevant in our lives than God.

    So use technology to reach out, Immersion. Keep the blog and the website and the podcasts and whatever else comes along. But don't make it the end - because unless it leads people to God it's just another website, or podcast, or blog.

    But praise God who never gives up on us if only we turn to him!

    "Facebook fallacy".... I love that. What's even more ironic is that I'm sitting down to update the Immersion group on Facebook. Classic. Good thoughts!

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