Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Something Changed on the Internet

Earlier this year, John Dyer, author of From the Garden to the City: The Redeeming and Corrupting Power of Technology, published a blog post titled: Someone on the Internet is Wrong: The 10 Stages of Internet Controversy. In the original post he accurately and insightfully describes the pattern of how controversy on the internet unfolds through the various stages of instigation, reporting, defending, commenting, accusations, affirmations, blame and the like.

Recently, he updated the post with a new 11th stage which reflects a recent controversy that had an the unexpected (but much appreciated) outcome. Something Changed. Someone broke the cycle and God is Glorified. -- Check it out:

11. Something Changes

In the last few days, the “next big thing” happened in a back and forth between Jared Wilson, Rachel Held Evans, and Douglas Wilson (and lots and lots of others) over some very mature and sensitive subject matter. As I scanned the seemingly endless posts, I found myself growing very cynical, thinking to myself that it seemed as if the entire Christian blog world had agreed ahead of time to follow the 10 steps above as closely as possible.
But then something happened that surprised my saddened, but dismissive attitude. This time, Jared Wilson broke the cycle and apologized for hurting people with words.
In the coming weeks, I’m sure there will be plenty of painstaking analysis of the entire debacle (Step 12?), so it’s probably not worth pointing out things like how inattentive we are to the way the Internet’s speed and anonymity effectively control and guide these kinds of battles. At this point, I’m just happy to see that every once in a while Christians on the Internet behave differently and, hopefully, our good God is glorified in some small way."
What an awesome way of reading this controversy and seeing the redemption in the end. And thank you, John and Jared!

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