If paper never smiles – what about pixels?

Yesterday, like many others, I jumped on the Camping bandwagon. With a click of the button here and a tweet there, I cheerfully joined in the rapturefest. Last night, caught up in the whole thing, I retweeted a particularly scathing piece about ‘end-time bingo’, which I deleted when I got up. It wasn’t terrible, but then again it wasn’t wholesome either. There was a snickering nastiness to it which I did’t want to keep on my Twitter feed.

Back in the days of pen and paper, it took a lot of effort to get involved with a public discussion. Even when e-mail came along, you had to know the addresses of the relevant people. Now all it takes is 140 characters and the click of a button to publish your opinions to the world. This reduces both time and inclination for reflection. As I pondered on last night’s tweet, I remembered the advice from an old pastor ‘paper never smiles’. If he ever wrote a ‘stiff’ letter, he would refuse to post it until the next day, just in case he thought better of it.

However, the fact that our connectivity demands new discipline of us does not mean that it is a bad thing. The ability to connect with each other offers far more than it costs. Just as I was reflecting on all this, I saw the advert below, and instantly fell in love with it. I’ll take connectivity over isolation every time – even if I have to take care with it.