Hype in Hypertext or the Real Deal?

The internet does an excellent job of giving a voice to people you might not have known of otherwise. One problem that springs out of this is pride. If you have any kind of online presence why do you do it? Is it because you want to be heard? Is it because you like to hear yourself? Maybe it is because we think our views are so amazing that they must be shared. Or maybe we have a passion for something that we have a deep need to express.

If you have a presence on the web it is important to take inventory and ask yourself what drives it all. Is it about you and your own pride or is it about something else? When it is about your pride you become a stat checker. You just care about traffic because that means more people are hearing what you have to say. People are thinking about you and people are talking about you. You get excited when you notice people mention you on twitter or link to something you wrote, not because God’s kingdom might expand or some eternal good may come of it but because you are getting recognition. When it is about you, you write some things just to stir people up and drive traffic to your site or twitter account. Controversy gets more attention than spiritual depth.

When it is about God you would write those things whether anyone read them or not. When the kingdom drives your efforts you aren’t in it for attention, to make a name or anything other than doing whatever it takes to expand the borders of the kingdom of God into the lives of others. We don’t always fall neatly into one side or the other. We can have mixed motives or do better at times and worse at other times. It is still important that we ask ourselves what is driving our online presence. It is also important that we evaluate whether what we present online is all just “hype in hypertext” or if it is the “real deal”. Do we talk a good talk or are we willing to walk the walk?

 

About mattdabbs
I am a minister, husband, and father. My wife and I live and minister in Saint Petersburg, Florida. My primary ministry responsibilities include: small groups, 20s and 30s, involvement, and adult education.

7 Responses to Hype in Hypertext or the Real Deal?

  1. Matt,

    You’ve done it again! You so often make me look at myself to discern what I’m really all about and what I really believe.

    Yes, I’ve checked stats. Yes, there’s a goodly measure of “pride” in doing so.

    Hopefully there is also a goodly measure of desire for the glory of God and for clear exposition of His Word.

    Will we see you in Lakeland next week?

  2. MichaelGreshaw says:

    For me I would say it’s conviction that makes the difference. Yes I look at stats because it is a great way to find like minded people that read my blog (it’s how I found your blog), but in truth if it is not straight from my lfe or something the Lord has revealed to me there is no point in writing it. I loved the article because of it’s straightforwardness.

  3. Paul Smith says:

    Let’s see if more people will read my blog if I respond here…. 🙂 I like to keep an eye on my stats to see if I can determine what subjects are (and are not) considered important. For example, an article I posted on capital punishment received an inordinate (in my opinion) number of hits, and other posts that were very important to me just got ignored. I agree that we should write to please God, and write about the issues that WE feel are important, but I still like to know if I am speaking to an echo chamber or not. (mostly yes!)

    • Barb A. says:

      To you blog writers – I think it may be an incorrect assumption to think that if someone doesn’t respond, it is ignored….I am in agreement or in appreciation at the thoughts presented in many many blogs that I don’t feel I need to ‘amen’ out loud. If indeed you are writing to further the Kingdom does the amen always have to come from an outside source? (While pep rallys are great and the louder the crowd the more keyed up and excited things get…I don’t like to ‘like’ or respond to everything externally.)
      That being said – I appreciate that perhaps there are times when if all I can do is add encouragement to the ‘conversation’ with an amen perhaps if instead I just move on to the next thing that is an apportunity missed. I encourage all of you – wonderful thoughts, it IS encouraging to have Godly people have Godly conversations and disagree in a respectful manner. Those of us who are not as schooled may watch from the sidelines but we learn and grow and stretch because of it. Even sometimes we get in and throw a ball.
      TO God be the glory.

      • mattdabbs says:

        That is a great point Barb. The ratio on this blog of views to comments is roughly 100 views/comment. Part of me says that isn’t so good because I want to generate conversation because it makes you feel relevant. Then the other part of me really doesn’t care if things generate a conversation as long as it is helpful to someone out there. My opinion is that in most instances the second is more important than the first.

  4. John says:

    Whenever I comment on a blog I use only my first name; there are 3 reasons for doing so.

    First, when I was a young preacher I greatly desired to be known as a wonderful writer and speaker. Now, nearly 30 years later, I look back on that time with shame and embarrassment.

    Secondly, since getting out of preaching I have to admit that there have been periods that my spiritual life was anything but stellar. I am not just speaking of “morality”, for no one can claim perfection; but of times of bitterness and anger that shut out the spirit of Christ and caused me to lose control. My feeling is if anyone who knew me then recognized my name they would immediately shut out anything I have to say before reading it with an open mind.

    Thirdly, I grew up in the CoC in which many relatives, some of whom were preachers and preacher’s wives, were very legalistic, prejudiced and racist. I refuse to pretend it did not happen. And while there are times when I comment about my past and how wrong it was, these are still relatives that I have a love for. They know the progressive convictions I hold now. But there is part of me that does not want them to think that I am personally attacking them if by chance they may be reading.

    There may be those who look at any of the reasons above and think me a weak man. But I have come to a time when I desire the convictions of my heart to be helpful and healing as well as healthy pokes to make people think. And if, and I do say IF, any out there are lifted or encouraged by anything I say, my last name is not important…John will do.

  5. K. Rex Butts says:

    I’ve always noticed that controversy drives up the blog traffic.

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