Monday, April 06, 2009

Blogtour and Review: Flickering Pixels

Blogtourspot asked me to be a host in their guided discussion tour of Shane Hipps' new book Flickering Pixels. In this book Hipps looks at the different types of media throughout history and how those media have transmitted the message of Jesus as well as how those media have changed our culture.

The book was not what I expected. I was thinking it was going to be something along the line of how to use the media to spread the Good News. The book was more along the lines of how the media we use shapes our culture and the people in it. He focused his book on the media, not the particular message. In other words, he spoke about TV but other than a couple of paragraphs did not differentiate between Sex in the City, Little House on the Prairie and The 700 Club (or EWTN).

The book was packed with information, theories and opinions, some of which I agreed with; others with which I did not. The tour organizers suggested that one thing bloggers could do with this tour was to post discussion questions based on the book. I could write such questions all day--the only question is whether I could get you, my readers, to answer them. I tried discussion questions at the end of my reviews a couple of months ago, and no one wanted to talk, but I'll try again with this book. If I get lots of comments on this post, I may even do another on this book, or maybe I'll go to a weekly discussion question based on some book I read. Anyway, here goes:

  • Regarding the internet, Lipps tells a story about a friend waiting to see baby pictures from her best friend from childhood. When she didn't receive them after several weeks, she called the new mom, who told her the pictures had been on Facebook for some time. The friend found it strange that the pictures had been shared with strangers sooner than with her and it changed the nature of their friendship. Lipps states that "Intimacy happens when we are invited into the exclusive VIP room of another person's life....The exclusivity of personal information creates the conditions of intimacy. That intimacy is preserved in that relationship as long as the information remains exclusive. The moment it is available to anyone and everyone is the moment intimacy begins to evaporate. The Internet has a natural bias toward exhibitionism, and thus the erosion of real intimacy....Regarding virtual communities, he states they provide "just enough connection to keep us from pursuing real intimacy. In a virtual community, or contacts involve very little real risk and demand even less of us personally....It's a bit like cotton candy: It goes down easy and satiates our immediate hunger but doesn't provide much in the way of sustainable nutrition. Not only that, but our appetite is spoiled."

Questions: Have you ever considered yourself part of a virtual community? How did you become involved? How would you characterize your relationship with other members of the community? Do you think your on-line relationships hurt, helped or had no effect on your real life relationships. I'll give my answer in the comments section in a few days.

I encourage you to drop by the blogs of others participating in this tour and see what they are talking about:

A Peek at My Bookshelf
AKA Theodore Lewis
Bible Dude
Blog Tour Spot
Bound to His Heart
Callapidder Days
Captain’s Blog
Christian Bookworm Reviews
Christian SEO
Church Relevance
Good Word Editing
In a Mirror Dimly
it wasn’t me
J’s Spot
Just Thinking . . .
life outside my window
Lighthouse Academy
Man of Depravity
Matt Wiebe
Missio Dei
Monday Morning Insight
My Life Message
One Glory
Paper Bridges
Penning Prose
Pilgrimage of the Heart
Prayerfully Penned
Real Women Scrap
Refresh My Soul
Relevant Blog
Scraps and Snippets
This, That, and the Other Thing
Wildly Appropriate


  1. Have you ever considered yourself part of a virtual community?>>>>

    How did you become involved?>>>>
    WHen I got internet service over 12 yrs ago it was with AOL and I got hooked on their message boards; esp a support board for Catholic Mom

    How would you characterize your relationship with other members of the community? >>>

    There are folks I don't care for, there are folks that annoy me, there are folks that are my friends though we've never met, there are those I have been fortunate to meet in person and are my friends (like the author of this blog).... Just recently our AOL online community was destroyed by AOL. One day we woke up and our board was GONE.... I was sick; I felt as if my favorite place to visit with friends had been destroyed and I didn't know how to contact all of them or where we could meet.
    I found a new 'home' but many folks are not following... it's sad to lose friends after knowing many of them for 10 yrs or more

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