On the Inordinate Use of Social-ish Media

“Really? For Goliath’s sake, when was the marriage?” asked I, upon learning that a friend had the courage to get married without my knowledge of the special occasion.

I was only a bit annoyed at first. But then came my friend’s response: “It was on Facebook! When was the last time you sign in to your Facebook account?”

“I don’t see why I should.”

“Come on man, are you kidding me? You live in the 2016 and you can’t see why you should be on Facebook?!”

Now normally I am a very calm man, but okay, he asked for it.

“Listen to me. Imagine you are hitchhiking on a spaceship launched exactly from the location where you sit now. At first you will see this compound of concrete and asphalt we call Jakarta. All its buildings, all its roads, cars, along with its happy inhabitants. After a while you will be high enough to look at the vastness of the dense Borneo jungle, all those innumerable trees—with who knows how many insects and birds and bats and reptiles—crisscrossed by large, snake-like rivers. Then the Pacific ocean comes into view, glimmering under the Sun on one of its corner and brewing a tropical cyclone on the other, at the same time being a nurturant home to countless fishes and invertebrates.

“Keep going until the whole planet fits into your panorama. This, I presume, should be the first time you really have a sense of how big and beautiful Planet Earth actually is. Continuing your hitchhiking voyage, you come within moon’s orbit distance. You see the proverbial earthrise the way Frank Borman saw it. You concede a gaping mouth, I bet. Now keep going, keep going. By now you should reach the periphery of the Solar System. As Neptune passes by, you notice the one planet you call home shrinks. It shrinks and it shrinks and it shrinks, until it turns into a pale blue dot.

“Right now you must wonder, is this how small we are in the universe? Our planet, with all the people and all the events? Now picture people. People hunting antelope, people building pyramids, people fighting each other. People reciting poem, people singing, people dancing. People writing equations, people sailing around the world, people testing out a flying contraption, people making video calls. People praying. People go to work. People marching for freedom. People born. People die.

“And then you wonder why are we here—what are we doing, on this pale blue dot in one corner of the universe.

“Now hold your curiosity, go find a mirror, see your own facial expression, and then say: FACEBOOK.”

He stared blankly at me. And after a few seconds paid his due attention back to the news feed again.

Well, maybe he doesn’t like essential things. Or maybe he is just addicted.

One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.

John S. Piper

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