That’s what a guest presenter at a class said today. It’s funny; I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I spend more time on tumblr and facebook then I do at prayer, by a long shot. I spend more time on the computer than I do studying. I’ve tried to cut back, but I lack the willpower. Technology has given me so much: friendships that I would never otherwise have, ideas and information that I never would have found on my own, and, remarkably, a much greater enthusiasm for my faith thanks to the tumblr Catholic community. But it has gone too far. It has taken away my ability to focus, to enjoy life outside of my room. It has made me care more about my follower count than the depth of my thinking.
At the end of the game Minecraft (another thing that I have been consumed by recently), the player is subjected to a long poem that is meant to make you question the reality of the game versus normal reality. In an interview (very interesting, here), the author of the poem says, “I think computer games can serve the function of religion. They can do the good bits that religion used to do, and hopefully not do the bad bits…” Well, most of my followers do not need to be told what I think of that. But, I have found that for me the internet has in some ways replaced religion for me, and perhaps even replaced reality. This is not a new thing; I grew up with computers and I have experienced this to some degree or another for years. Walking to class and being a thousand miles away, thinking about the universe I am building in Minecraft. Speaking to a friend but considering a rebuttal in a debate on the internet. Seeing something beautiful and immediately structuring the experience into a blog post. I suppose I’m doing something similar to that last one at this very moment, but this is the last time. I feel like I am trapped in a digital prison, but now it is time to escape. I am shutting down mariaishismiddlename, probably for good. I am also deleting my facebook.
I have been considering this for a while, although the presentation tonight did convince me at last. There are a lot of good things that I will miss greatly. I have made some good friends on tumblr, at least, as good of friends as you can be over the wires. Niko, Jess, Father Angel, Olivier, Adrian, and the musingconvert come to mind. There are other people who I would have loved to know better, and I will miss seeing updates on, especially Kyle, Q, Catie, Jonathan, Philip, Maria, Brother Mark, Max, and the counterrevolutionary. If any of you, or any of my followers for that matter, want to remain in contact with me, I would welcome email messages. My address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, better still, if you’d like to be pen pals, email me and ask me for my mailing address. I don’t get much mail here and nothing would make me happier than having an excuse to put pen to paper.
I intend to use the time I used to devote to the internet to studying, reading, spending time outside, exercising more, and above all redevoting myself to God. I would greatly appreciate your prayers.
as prepared by Fr. Angel and accepted into the deposit of disciplines of the Tumblr Catholic Community with clarifications prompted by pfduda
1) I accept and promote the doctrine of faith and morals proposed by the Pope and the bishops in communion with him, even if these have not been taught as dogma but are part of the ordinary Magisterium of the Catholic Church.
2) If I am struggling with certain Catholic teachings, on my blog, I do so with deference to the Holy Father and the bishops in communion with him, and with respect to them as the final and sole authoritative voice for what is and is not Catholic teaching. Saying “the Church is wrong” is not deferential respect.
3) While respecting that Catholic doctrine unites us, I will also respect that applying the doctrine can take different forms pastorally. I will respectfully discuss these differences. While sarcasm or anger might enter a discussion, I will focus on the ideas and not the person. At no time will I address fellow Catholics bloggers or any other person with expletives, blasphemous, or vulgar expressions.
4) My mission is to love my fellow Tumblr Catholics and all other people, to build them up as a Communion of Saints, to form friendships and help to heal their wounds, to pray for them, to forgive them when they offend me, but to call them to accountability when they depart from our common mission.
5) With my fellow Catholics, I will encourage frequent confession, reception of Communion every Sunday, Eucharistic adoration, recitation of the rosary and all Marian devotions, the purity of body and soul, and will venerate and hold sacrosanct the memory of the saints and all their holy counsels. I will shun and keep from my blog whatever is blasphemous, sacrilegious, and pornographic.”
pfduda replied to your post: Tumblr Catholic Community Mission Statement
Can we change the part about loving fellow Tumblr Catholics to just loving fellow Tumblrs?
The discipline has not been changed but has been clarified. Thank you for prompting that.
What is the world coming to?
I suppose now I ought to convince him to get a tumblr or something.
Now Clinton and Obama are coming to campus.
But they, unlike Herman Cain and Paul Ryan, are going to be speaking in the huge open area in the middle of campus. Understandable; they will probably draw bigger crowds.
Also, unlike the conservatives, they will be speaking in the middle of the day. When myself and most of the student body still has class. I have to cross the area where they are speaking in order to get to class. Right through the unwashed multitudes and the Secret Service.
Or walk an extra ten minutes. I think I’ll just do that.
I really don’t fully understand why we basically have different factions in the Tumblr Catholic community.
We have been taught by Christ to live with patience, compassion, and understanding. Yet, arguments often spring up. Sure, we’ll all have different ideas and thoughts going on. But if we…
Please PLEASE do you research…
You keep using the term JIHAD incorrectly over and over again.
Stop making it a word filled with hatred and war.
Jihad is a word in the Muslim world meaning a spiritual and inner struggle.
It has nothing to do with Holy Wars or any garbage like that…
A Concerned Catholic
SN: Social conservatism with a religious basis and mainstream Islam are natural allies. We have similar beliefs regarding the place of God in society. It makes no sense to alienate our brothers, no matter what a few extremists do. If we focus on the commonalities between Christianity and Islam rather than forcing the dirtier aspects of our culture upon them, perhaps the larger issues would disappear. I would argue that much of the anti-American resentment overseas is due to our commercial presence and the accompanying sexualization/marketization of everything in sight.