Friday, January 19, 2007

It's been a Webby week

This week has been all about expanding my understanding of the Web. The week started out with a very inspiring conference call with fellow Christian Science bloggers (hi, guys!), then moved to spending a lot of time poking around a Web site hosting service and playing with a bunch of tools such as discussion boards and classified ads. Finally, a couple days ago, I signed up for Facebook.

With the Facebook signup, I'm suddenly reconnected with a bunch of my friends who are in college. Now I come to find out they've been having this entire virtual existence, complete with conversations, specialized groups, photos, messaging, all sorts of stuff. I *love* it. Gives me something new to check every day, but I get to be connected to all these cool people.

The Web contains entire universes. Facebook, LinkedIn, iTunes, Bloglines, del.icio.us, LibraryThing—each one has not only its own content, but its own rules and functionality. You have to learn how to get around, but once you do, these are amazing tools. Amazing universes, that are taking up *no space.* You can access each one of them without moving, and can hop from one to the other.

Sometimes Sunday School students have asked me, How can it be that there is no time or space in the perfect spiritual creation? Don't you need space? Don't you need time? To me the Web is a primo example of how we don't need space to exist. It's all mental—it's all idea. My online interactions with my friends are just as substantive as face-to-face ones, because it's not about the physical form of the interaction but about the ideas we share. Ideas are real in any form.

The Web is like a final frontier of ideas that keeps moving westward just as you get to the edge. There's no end in sight to the innovations. It really keeps getting better and better.

Sure, there are threats to the Web's usefulness, and it's interesting to note that some of these threats have disease-oriented names, like "viruses" and "worms." Perhaps those of us who are benefiting so much from the Web can take this as a clue to prayerfully support its continued health and wellbeing. Same as we pray for our community, or pray for our workplace, praying for the Web environment can only help it stay in top condition.

For all its weirdness, I celebrate the Web. At this point, I can't imagine a world without it.


The divine Science of man is woven into one web of consistency without seam or rent. --Science and Health

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2 Comments:

At 1/19/2007 01:56:00 PM, Anonymous Emily said...

At the risk of name-dropping Richard Bach one too many times ... this is something I meant to mention in our phone conference the other day but forgot about:

There's a passage in Jonathan Livingston Seagull that I especially like for goodbyes. Jonathan is heading back to the Flock to teach them, and Sullivan tells him that he'll miss him. Jonathan chastises him: "For shame, Sully, and don't be foolish! What are we trying to practice every day? If our friendship depends on things like space and time, then when we finally overcome space and time, we've destroyed our own brotherhood! But overcome, and all you have left is Here. Overcome time, and all you have left is Now. And in the middle of Here and Now, don't you think that we might see each other once or twice?"

It struck me one day, as I was exchanging e-mail addresses with a young friend who had just graduated from high school, that the Internet has taken that passage out of the realm of the theoretical and into the realm of the practical. In the middle of Here and Now, we do, indeed, see each other once or twice ... every day!

Imagine what Mrs. Eddy could have done with a mouse and a DSL line!

 
At 1/19/2007 06:16:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

...and friends like us...I think this has been the Aha for me this week...my web-based (especially this blog-based) family has become so dear to me and for the most part I've never seen any of the people I am so happy to have in my life...talk about spiritual "connections"....love you laura...and all, K

 

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