I’m a very visual person. I need to see in order to learn, to understand. Whether in art or in nature, I am drawn to the beauty captured by what the eye can see.
For that very reason, the recent wordiness of this blog is driving me a bit batty.
When I read online – from a blog or a news site – I find my vision blurring and my attention waning when a page is chock-full of text. I crave the variety and stimulation that photographs offer to break up a long string of paragraphs, to pause and regain one’s breath.
But simultaneously I have become increasingly wary of posting pictures of my child on the Internet. You can only read so many creepy news articles about predators or online identity theft before you want to pull the plug and run for the nearest hermitage. (Or maybe that’s just me? Ahem.)
Lately I’ve been contemplating how to proceed wisely as a mother in this World of Communication 2.0 (or is it 3.0 now?). I know that I cannot protect my child from all the evils of the world, but I want to be as cautious as I can. I cannot put him in a bubble, but I want to make his world as safe as possible while he is small.
I hear parents of school-age children agonize over whether – or rather, when – to allow their children to have their own Face.book pages. I listen to friends question whether they should post pictures of their babies online. I read gut-wrenching stories about cyber-bullying.
While I celebrate aspects of the Internet that have made us more connected and more informed, I also become increasingly wary about the constant reinvention of the way we communicate online and the lack of deep reflection on how this affects us as a culture and as individuals.
So what’s a mother to do? Do I pull all my photos of S off of Face.book, even though it’s the easiest and quickest way to share his delightful growth with our family and friends? I’m not sure; I’m giving it serious thought. I feel the need to reflect more deeply – read: theologically – on this question.
But for the time being, I think we can all agree that I’ve sprinkled far too many words on this page (and probably gotten far too serious in this musing as well). There is still room for visual delights, even if they aren’t the delights of one grinning, toddling S.
How about this hilarious juxtaposition of coffee mugs I noticed the other morning? On the left, a graduation gift from the school of theology I attended; on the right, a Christmas gift from my well-humored spouse.
The blending of my vocations meets me even in the choice of cups for my morning tea…You can’t make this stuff up.