The Blogosphere vs. The Real World

Posted on October 2, 2011 by

Sometimes as discussions unfold on this blog and on others I read, I wonder how much real, interactive contact people in the blogosphere have with Christians and others who live differently than we do. One of the reasons I enjoy this arena is precisely because it’s one of the few places I can connect with women who have a similar outlook as me on many of the issues of life.

Having children in public school and belonging to a large church provide ample opportunity for us to interact not only with Christians who live differently than me, but non-Christians and also folks who are downright hostile to the tenets of the Christian faith. It can be trying to be forced to find common ground with people who think you take most things far too seriously, but it is instructive and helpful as well.

So many of the trends I have encountered since I started blogging are things I had not previously heard of- even in my church or among fellow believers. For the sake of those of us who don’t get out as much as we probably should, I thought it might be good to highlight some of the things we discuss in blogosphere that don’t even make it onto most Christians’ radar screen who have never read a blog. Never mind unbelievers. You know, so we can appreciate where real lifers are coming from.

In the blogosphere: There is incessant chatter about whether or not it is a sin or just stupid to send your kids to government schools. Many question the validity of any type of age segregated schooling, which leaves homeschool, by default as the only option deemed acceptable for a Christian family and private school as runner up.

In the real world: Most Christians don’t even begin to really know what homeschooling is all about,and are full of misconceptions about it. Yes, this is changing somewhat. That was me until about 4 yeas ago. Most have never even considered it. Most are trying desperately trying to figure out how to get their kids in the safest best public school they can, and are trying to be as involved as possible and make a difference there. Those that aren’t are working like a dog to afford private Christian school. In many of these families, the mom is working just to pay tuition.

In the blogosphere: There is always a discussion going on somewhere about whether or not wearing pants constitutes immodesty, or at the very least, is unfeminine. Whether tank tops show too much skin, and if makeup makes a woman like Jezebel.

In the real world: If a Christian woman bothers to consider modesty at all (and many don’t), she addresses the issue by making sure her shorts aren’t too short, her jeans aren’t too tight, or her shirt isn’t too low cut.

In the blogosphere: We are always cautioning against legalism, rigidity, and Phariseeism. More liberal bloggers are quick, upon reading the words of a few conservative bloggers, to warn that we are in danger of preaching a salvation based on works rather than faith. Don’t get me wrong, I think we need to be careful about such things but…

In the real world: There are few Christians in danger of being legalists. On the contrary, I would say most American Christians are in more danger of being too liberal than they will ever be of being too legalistic. While I certainly appreciate the notion that each believer has to walk the walk the Father has called them to, the notion of sound doctrine is virtually unheard of in most churches. Everyone seems purpose driven and on a quest to live their best life now. And if the Bible is truly open to every individual’s personal interpretation, then what good is it?

In blog land: There is the subtle if unspoken implication that if we do everything just right, our children will be shining paragons of virtue, a testament not to the faithfulness of God, but to our personal holiness and hard work. It seems we forget that our children, just like every other human walking the planet, were born in sin and shaped in iniquity. We forget that despite our best efforts, they are sinners in need of a Savior, and as such, they will make mistakes. Some of them will make monumental mistakes. When they do, it helps us to remember that they have free will. A realistic perspective will enable us to provide the grace they will so desperately need when they make those mistakes.

In the real world:
Parents expect far too little, even Christian parents. Toddlers are expected to throw tantrums, teens are expected to rebel. Of course, expectations are high when it comes to grades and sports and such. Report cards are indicators of character. There’s just no expectation that they can demonstrate any spiritual maturity, because of their youth. Daughters leave home dressed like streetwalkers, and it’s considered just a phase that they’ll grow out of. Dating is considered the norm. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been warned that our expectations of our daughters is too high. It makes me sad.

In the blogosphere: The relations between the sexes is a main attraction. Who is to blame for the decline in marriages: Men who don’t commit or slutty, unworthy feminist women? There is constant reference to being alpha or beta and what that means to a relationship. Men are the put upon, women are the enemy, or vice versa depending on where you read, and ne’er the twain shall meet.

In the real world: There are few people thinking this deeply about the “crisis” between the sexes. Every year I see couples marry that I hope will make it though I fear they won’t. Women are oblivious to the fact that they can’t find a good man because they looked past him on their beeline to a worse man. Most men aren’t as jaded as we tend to think when you read Internet commentary. They still think that they’ll meet the right girl and settle down. It’s called the “red pill” for a reason folks. Most of those around us have NOT taken it.

In the blogosphere: People are ostensibly more honest about race. The dysfunction of brown/black people, the superiority of white/yellow people and the “coming race war” is a hot topic. And imagine my surprise to learn that I, my husband, and families like mine in my church community really don’t exist!

In the real world: People are actually far more frank when discussing race than you’d think if you get all your information from the blogosphere. Conversations touch on every thing from the black crime and  OOW birthrate to the lack of cohesion between the extended families of whites to the problems of illegal immigration, as well as the problems created by non-assimilation of immigrants. At least in my conversations with my family and friends of all races, none of these is off limits mainly because we understand the truth of the root behind most of it.

I could go on with these contradictions, but I think you get the picture. So the question becomes: which reality is more authentic? While I fully appreciate the depth of thought and discussion that occurs on Internet discussions, there is much to be gained from sustained conversations with real people on these hot topics. Of course, you first have to find someone who’s given them enough thought and care to be able to discuss them and the courage to do so honestly. And you have to get out to do that.

By the way, I’m not trying to insult you ladies and gents by implying that you don’t get out much. I was being facetious. But most of us blogging types probably don’t get out as much as we ought.

Posted in: Relationships