Despite my best intentions I have not made any blog posts since last January when they were required for my 21st Century Media and Religion course. My one solace is that most of my classmates also haven't been updating their blogs, so that does help a little.
One of the reasons that I haven't been posting is my personal struggles with my online brand. In their book Click2Save Elizabeth Drescher and Keith Anderson speak to this. One of the things they talk about is how your online presence is going to be a mix of your personal and professional lives but I'm still not comfortable with that entirely. Part of me has avoided blogging on technology topics here because I'm not sure what the audience will be (I have posted on technology topics on other forums like ITNinja.com), but then I also don't put effort into blogging religious topics because frankly most of my efforts on that front go into class work.
Regardless, here I am taking another course that requires blogging so at least for another week things will be active in this space again. Perhaps this time I'll get more into the habit of blogging and will also become more comfortable with a mixing of my technological and theological selves. I'm hoping that this course will lead me to resources that will help with that process. I can already see that there is a lot of discussion happening in the area of media and religion but so far I have not been plugged into the right people and places where those discussions are happening.
We have already been exposed to a few people that I'm sure I'll want to read more from, including one of our professors Dr. Mary Hess. I just finished reading her paper titled "Mirror Neurons, The Development Of Empathy, And Digital Story Telling" in which she briefly discussed the differences between sympathy and empathy and urges that as Christians we should prefer empathy. I found this interesting in light of recent news that Facebook is testing a "Sympathize" button. If Facebook were to provide a function to sympathize with others how would we approach that from a Christian perspective? Are the subtleties between sympathy and empathy too little to urge Facebook to provide different functionality? Would the majority of Christians put enough distinction between the words to justify the need? Incidentally, Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly an atheist, so would he even care if Christians urge a distinction?
These are interesting questions that I'm hoping to develop the tools to help try and answer.