With the Christian New Media awards forthcoming, I will admit to being disappointed that I was not shortlisted for anything. I don’t think I was the only one who looked at the list and had that same feeling one has as a child when the school sports team was announced, only to find your name is absent from the team sheet.
It might seem a bit harsh, but I couldn’t help but think, “For whose benefit are these awards? Is it not possible to highlight good engagement and encourage people without an award ceremony or a list of best bloggers/tweeters?” It reflects a wider dilemma of how to praise one group of people without inadvertently putting others down or seeming to overlook them.
If I tweet something I think is witty or insightful, there is an almost irresistible urge to check in 5 minutes’ time to see if it has been retweeted. After linking to a blog post, I can’t resist having a look at the stats to see how many views it has, even though revealing your number of hits is, in blogging terms, somewhat similar to showing someone your bank statement. There is a great temptation to create ‘virtual currencies’ in the digital world, whether it be Twitter followers or subscribers to your blog or Wikio ranking. Only this currency is non-tradeable for the most part, though it is possible to buy Twitter followers. I doubt ‘treasure in heaven’ is a Klout rating.
We are all familiar with the idea that quantity doesn’t equal quality and that humility is a quality that should be expected of Christians. But I confess that this is easier said than done. I’m taking a step back from blogging to re-evaluate my motives for writing. If you will forgive me for paraphrasing scripture:
Whatever is true, whatever is holy, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is attractive, whatever is commendable, anything virtuous, anything praiseworthy, blog about such things.
Only by being passionately focused on something or someone else can I really forget my ego.
While I was writing this post, there were several items that cropped up in the Christian quarter of the blogosphere. Archdruid Eileen had her list of the most humble online christians, Pam Webster mused on the purpose of blogging and Anita Mathias gives her take on the matter here.
All this actually irritated me. I was determined that this was to be the post on digital ego, rather than a comment in a wider discussion. I also seem to have referenced myself numerous times above. Whoops!
So those are my thoughts. Does any of that chime a bell with you?