The Social vs Global Perspective

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In an age where technology makes the world a tiny place, instantly accessible and connected, something rather the opposite is happening: We're becoming "social." On one level, I like that we can connect with people. On another, I fear we're setting ourselves up to miss the history for the status updates.

In the past, news spread slowly. What happened even a few miles from your home mattered little. As technology and transportation improved, the issues of the wider world came into our homes. It's to the point where I can now--in a sense-spend my evenings visiting other people's homes and see what they're having for dinner via Facebook and Twitter. And if I so choose, Google will only show me things I find interesting. I now have the option of getting "personal" search results rather than the global results Google has been feeding me for years. I could shut out the world in favor of my circles and groups and peoples.

Personal Results

Global Results

What happens when we insulate ourselves to such an extent that we no longer see beyond our digital backyard? May we never do that.

I went into my Google settings and turned off "personal results." I want my information, by default, to be broader than my myopia. Part of this is because I grew up in a world that had a broader perspective. My education was rooted in the idea that the world is bigger than me and that I have a role in it. Sonlight's missions-minded, global perspective sticks with me today. The award-winning literature that painted the backdrop of my education continues to stand the test of time. It moves me outside the fleeting status updates scribbled on my wall.

But as I think back on history, it's the people that matter. Individuals change the world. God uses men and women to reach into communities and transform cultures. So we must not miss out on opportunities to connect with our friends.

The world is bigger than me, and I have a role in it.

May we not get so caught up in the digital worlds of our making that we miss out on the bigger picture. But when we are where we should be, may we reach out in love to those around us.

How do you balance the social and global perspectives? Have you noticed a change in how you consume news? Do you find yourself using the internet to find like-minded friends or people who challenge you to think differently? My guess is a little a both. Any tips on how best to balance that?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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