We are in interesting times, interesting times indeed; a time and location in human history when and where many of us have travelled so far into the arid deserts and dense jungles of the digital landscape that it now appears as if we will never truly return — no matter how hard we try, and no matter how much we long to; that even when we do choose to log off or sign out or leave the conversation, a portion of ourselves will always remain wandering aimlessly without a map in that digital landscape, consciously and subconsciously sucked up and into its gripping and sucking gargantuan audio/visual tendrils; with us always thinking, moving, being, and buzzing with anticipation for the next thing to be engaged with or shared or loved or coveted, because sooner than later — but usually sooner — we feel a persistent rumble in our pocket and/or feel compelled to represent and/or find our life online:
C U LATER.
Does this mean that our digital world is something to be feared or celebrated; rejected or embraced; hated or loved? It is too early to say with certainty, although many individuals are saying with certainty as they think sprawling nonsense on the page and speak aloud with conviction about all of this digital stuff, as this world and this culture is about 95% on our way to knowing; knowing as we drive down those crack ridden tar snake coiled digital interstates like a bunch like of wild and free life and love seeking maniacs with souped up machines that shine and glow in the dark and light alike, that we are almost there — and indeed we are almost there: that place, that mysterious, northern star-esque, place, where we will finally know for sure whether or not our digitally navigated world has either a) taken us straight to hell in a interactive media hand basket or b) allowed us to rise, up, up, up, towards the heavens in an interactive media balloon filled full with hot air and searching for hope.
And yet, even if it is the latter rather than the former, I am growing increasingly afraid that it will all end up as the digital articulation of the old Babel story, whereby humanity has built this large and digital structure for the purposes of attracting God and the world’s attention, saying all the while: look at me! notice me! I am important! look at me! but still only getting the last thing they ever wanted and hoped for: confusion, miscommunication, fragmentation, and the worst of all things, aloneness.
Yes, many of us are treating these souped up shiny machines and the digital landscapes they take us to as if they’re portals or staircases or ladders to heaven, to God, even:
WHERE R U?
But are we finding what we’re looking for?