Love Thy Neighbour… Wirelessly and for free | iPhones and Social Networking II

PhobileFollowing the previous post about some of the deeper issues behind social networking, and with the much hyped release of Apple’s iPhone, I was struck by this piece on Channel 4 news about free mobile calls on wireless. (It reminded me too about a Wired piece on open-source mobile phones, which is great)

It seems we ever more desperate to connect to one another, but that more and more of our connections are mediated: screens, machines, handsets…

But never eye-to-eye. More i- to i- now.Iphone

In a typically insightful comment, my good friend Greg Russinger noted that one of
the problems he had with much of the ‘alternative worship’ he had seen was that it often gave little or no space to face-to-face contact. It was church, but with more screens, machines, handsets…

One of the amazing things about the incarnation is that it was God, unmediated. The technology of connection, the Temples, the priests, the special equipment, was blown away.

Of course, we will always see through dark glass (though, like damn celebrities, I wish it wasn’t always through dark glasses) but since the ascension we have continued to rebuild the technology of divine mediation, when we ought to have been out sharing free speech, with no contract or direct debits needed.

So I’m pleased Jobs has released his very cool device. But let’s make sure we use them (yeah, right, I’m ever going to own one 😉 to arrange to meet, and take out our headphones, and remove our eyewear, and be social. You know, in the non-Web2.0 way…


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9 responses to “Love Thy Neighbour… Wirelessly and for free | iPhones and Social Networking II”

  1. Ahhh Kes, don’t ruin our fun. You mean I gotta go out and relate?
    Thanks for the reminder to see things right.

  2. Couldnt say it better myself :), good stuff.

  3. Kes– everything is mediated by our body. Isn’t that just the way it is? Technology just extends that experience. What’s the difference between a spoken voice and a digitally mediated voice? In the end, there is still a ‘gap’ between form and content, signifier and signified.

  4. The difference: presence.
    Mystical. Immensurable.
    There’s no technology that can replicate it.

  5. Kester may I add that maybe its not even “i to i”, but “eye to eye”. This is where honesty, mystery and humanity might journey, though this would cause a more risky incarnation to ‘the other’ as well as the praxis of welcoming the stranger, i feel the image would be worth considering.

  6. Nice. I hadn’t clocked the i to i as ego-to-ego… You’re right. Eye contact is extraordinary; so rare.
    But it’s the only way to meet ‘the other’.

  7. Sorry, Kes. Still don’t quite get what you’re saying.
    I thought incarnation was pure mediation, Christ as God’s icon.
    Also, are you claiming that ‘face to face’ experience is intrinsically mystical?

  8. ‘Pure’ mediation might well be incarnation… if we take pure mediation to mean perfect replication. ie if there could be a device that completely and totally replicated my presence in a room with you, so you had no idea if it was ‘me’ or the pure mediation of me, then it would theoretically be the same as incarnation.
    So perhaps the Incarantion *was* a pure mediation.
    But all other mediations of presence: telephone, email, iChat, TV etc are imperfect. There is always something missing.
    In this sense I think face-to-face, or eye-to-eye does have something intrinsically mystical. It is more than the sum of the senses involved.
    (As an aside, I think it’s good that High Definition Video Conferencing is coming… and may impact levels of business flying)

  9. My friendships that have never been fed with cell phones or e-mails survive on their own merit.
    Certain enjoyable exchanges of friendships that are accessed by technology are awkward and stilting when afforded with face time. Each kind require my patience and grace if they are to be built into something worthwhile.
    The point is WHO are you BEING as you contact the soul through digits or the digital?
    Sometimes I only enjoy my church because of the history I have there. They know me. I know them. We belong to each other.
    Maybe the fault of instant technology is that it has no chance to teach us forbearance. Forbearance needs ALL of the body’s faculties.