Category: Internet

CSLewisDoodle: pitching a tent in YouTube culture

You’ve seen them before: the illustrated YouTube videos that condense TED Talks or leadership books into four-minute, hand-drawn illustrations. Now there’s a new voice (or rather old) on this scene: that of C. S. Lewis. CSLewisDoodle takes the Christian apologist’s essays and illustrates them with hand-sketched illustrations. Since its inception in 2012, the YouTube phenomenon has gained 12,600…  [more]

Power, community and the rise of ad blocking

Depending on where you stand, the increasing ability of Web users to block advertisements either means the end of the free Internet or a new era of personalized browsing. For those of us who grew up as the Web was just taking off, the possibility of blocking ads represents yet another paradigm shift in the relationship between content providers and users. In the 1990s, browsing the Web included the inevitable fight…  [more]

What Peeple gets wrong about people

Few startups have been met with as much instant animosity as Peeple. Originally described as a "Yelp for people," the proposed app would allow you to rate and comment on your acquaintances in three categories: personal, professional and dating. (There are even plans for a five-star rating system.) When news of the startup broke last week, the backlash was so immediate and widespread that some have speculated Peeple…  [more]

Bitmojis: a bridge toward authenticity?

Few situations in life have prompted as much internal dialogue as the creation of my Bitmoji. My love handles - did they really disqualify me from the athletic body shape? Was it truly necessary to choose a nose that actually matched the crooked shape of my own? Why are there so many eyebrow choices? And, more importantly, why was I so tempted to downplay the actual size of what I have always referred to as my…  [more]

Bringing grace to the first-person industrial complex

In an essay on Slate, Laura Bennett implicated herself, along with many editors on successful web magazines, in the phenomenon she called the “The First-Person Industrial Complex.” By this she means the growing popularity of essays based on the most harrowing or shocking or difficult experiences of the writer. Of course, the relationship of vulnerability to writing has always been close. A frequently…  [more]

What’s really been exposed in the Ashley Madison hack

Men and women cheating on their spouses is nothing new. Yet with the hack of affair-matchmaking site Ashley Madison and subsequent release of information identifying its users, adultery is in the public eye in a new way. Those fearful of discovery are seeking to know if their information was part of the leak. Prominent Christians such as Josh Duggar were found among the paid users, as was Sam Rader, a Christian…  [more]

Sharing the good news amidst Tinder’s ‘dating apocalypse’

Love isn’t easy in the digital age and, apparently, neither is responding to criticism. Last week, Vanity Fair ran a piece by Nancy Jo Sales on “Tinder and the Dating Apocalypse,” the contents of which provoked the Tinder Twitter account into an “emotional meltdown” that ranged from accusations of shoddy journalism to invoking North Korean users as legitimation of its services. Although…  [more]

The approaching scourge of virtual-reality porn

Before the Internet, it was easy to think of pornography as a worldly problem far removed from the church. Videos and magazines could only be bought in stores, which required showing one’s face at a public establishment - something most Christians probably avoided. But by the time I was 15, I had a computer in my room with a wire to the world. Suddenly, pornography could be accessed at the touch of a button…  [more]

Engaging relationally with our information age

Anyone with a smartphone knows we exist in an information age. While the vast expanse of information available at our fingertips may seem majestic on the surface, we’ve grown increasingly accustomed to the instant availability of data. In a recent Time article Lev Grossman discussed what he called “humanity’s newest problem: data.” Considering the rapid rate at which the availability of data…  [more]

The pastoral implications of Sheryl Sandberg’s Facebook post

I’ve been thinking about what I will do the next time I have occasion to make eye contact with Sheryl Sandberg. It will happen eventually. My husband works at Facebook. I’ve had a few brief in-real-life interactions with her (the company Christmas party and a hello in the parking lot). Even in passing, she was warm and genuine. She made an effort to look me in the eye and say hello. A few days after her…  [more]

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