March 7, 2011
Dear Marketplace Friend,
I was tempted to announce that I would no longer be producing this weekly digital discourse, created at one of Starbucks’ 10,000 US locations before sun-up; instead, I’m trying to grab the timeslot on the VideoCam Network just after “Charlie’s Korner.” Why not allow my Point of View to lean into the New World and go viral?
If Sheen can rant from his unique worldview – and grab 100,000 people on-line for the preview to see what Tiger Blood enables, why couldn’t I slide in behind him to expose my worldview… and show them what Jesus’ Blood can do? If Sean Hannity could work alongside Alan Colmes for 13 years – working from two very different spots on the ideological spectrum – is there a possible future for Sheen & Shank? (I’d be willing to give up alphabetical name order in recognition for him being the Adonis he says he is… and me being a “troll.”)
Sorry, I’m ahead of myself, but that’s out of my system.
Besides the obvious, one gigantic difference between Charlie Sheen and Bobby Shank is this: he knows how to exploit the myriad of “social media,” and I don’t.
Facebook? I’m not there; not yet. Twitter? No one knows where I ate last night. Linkedin? Haven’t accessed anyone’s network yet (I guess that makes me “unLinked”). YouTube, of me? Nada. No personal videos. Flikr? Good luck finding my headshot. If you used “social media” to determine my existence, I would be rated just below the Dodo bird of Mauritius on the “used to be, not anymore” list.
Does that mean I’m not social? What, exactly, is “social?” Technically, it is “needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in community.” What’s “community?” It is “a group having a religion, race, profession or other particular characteristic in common.”
I spent the weekend at an “undisclosed location” in the Allegheny Mountains of western Virginia with 500 men who had come together for “community.” Their professions were diverse; their zip codes were red and blue states, from both coasts. If they had political party commonality, it never came up. If “religion” – marked by institutional membership or certification – was the measure, they were all over the denominational map. Were they just random residents of the same hotel for 48 hours? Or, was there something more?
The meeting rooms had been booked in the name of the New Canaan Society, but that’s just a shell non-profit for a bunch of men who have a Best Friend in common… and an ongoing, real-life community of men who invite their friends to come closer to their Best Friend. In the most precise terms, they were – and, are – a “community,” being “social”… without the assistance of “media.”
Sociologists should be tracking the relationship between the rise of Facebook and the trend line for suicide. If the Big Dog in connecting has 500,000 people meeting in the Social Square, aren’t our needs for relationship finally resolved? Is relational “disconnection” displaced by broadband?
God made us with batteries that run down, quickly. The quick charge – good for minutes, but exhausted quickly – comes from connecting with other people. The deep charge – good for hours, and suitable for our most challenging assignments – comes from connecting with Him. How do we connect with Him? “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
I’m not ranting against Social Media; I’m simply recognizing the digital limitations. Charlie Sheen doesn’t need an audience; he needs a friend. He doesn’t need two goddesses; he needs one God. He doesn’t need Tiger Blood; he needs Jesus’ Blood. His tattoo says, “winning;” his life says, “lost, and losing.” Charlie Sheen needs a Savior…
God, please bring someone alongside Charlie Sheen, who can bring Charlie alongside the one and only Son…