Back in the heyday of social media, when MySpace was waxing old, Facebook was hitting puberty, and Twitter was merely a babe, older people would look at the emergence of these new digital forms of communication and say things like “You kids are only communicating through screens!”, and “Kids today don’t have real conversations anymore!” Basically, the onset of social media led to a belief that relationships created and maintained over a virtual space were somehow less personal and “real” than relationships in the physical world. While no one can doubt the intimacy offered by a face-to-face conversation or the powerful experience that those relationships create, does the use of a virtual medium of communication somehow negate the true experience of a relationship? Today we’re going to take a look at Sword Art Online and see what it says about virtual relationships and the way they form.

Continue Reading "Impersonally Personal?"

Human nature desires control. What I mean by this is that as humans, we naturally want to have control over our environments. Who comes in, what goes out, what goes where, if I’m going to Starbucks today or if I’m studying for that quiz tomorrow, etc. We like to feel in control of what goes on around us because we find a sense of peace and security from it. But as much as control provides for us, the pursuit of control often becomes a goal in and of itself, and the journey towards that control can become costlier than the benefits of controlling whatever aspect of one’s life. Countless examples of academics who abandoned family and friends in pursuit of their career can attest to that.

I’ve been learning lately that trying to control every aspect of my life is not quite as noble a goal as I’d once thought, and in fact ends up hurting myself and those around me more often than not. It limits me, and places unnecessary goals on my life and those in my life. And I’m not the only one who had to learn this the hard way: Handaa from Barakamon learned something similar over the course of the series.

Continue Reading "The Calligrapher’s Burden"

Konnichiwa! As we head into the end of this week and begin to blossom into the next, I want to wrap up the theme of community with a few short ways that we can express this godly love for those in our own lives. Community is an important aspect in the life of the believer, and it is our duty to be that community not just for ourselves, or even for other Christians, but so we can show the world the love of Christ through our relationships with one another. You can’t begin to love an unbeliever when you don’t even love a believer, so I hope that my writing here can spur you on to find more ways to love those in your own community.

Continue Reading "Exploring the Role of Christian Fellowship (Part 3)"