Since I set this blog up almost six months ago, Thailand and the Thai people have been through some very rough and dark times. During these times I discovered the power and value of social networking, in particular Twitter.
It seems to me that Facebook is primarily a tool that allows me to stay in touch with friends and family in a very low maintenance way. I post pics and vids of my son for my folks back home to watch and view (I’m strict about who makes my friends list and when they do get on I control who can see what, with most of my old school friends and acquaintances limited only to basic info and status updates and the odd photo album). But for what it is, its a great tool.
Twitter though, to me, is a very different beast, it puts you in direct contact with complete strangers. Seriously think about that for a second… WOW.
During the protests ordinary people shared their experiences on what was happening via twitter. The pictures and videos they shot and tweeted on their smartphones made headlines around the world. Professional journalists were also breaking news first on twitter, very often as it happened. The coverage was sometimes inaccurate and often unverified, but it was indisputably raw and I think for the most part that made the reports honest.
This episode woke my eyes to the power of twitter.
Just recently I attended my first ever tweet up @freakingcat hosted a BBQ which I ended cooking (fine by me I actually enjoy getting the grill out!). On arrival I had no idea what to expect. I knew one person IRL beforehand, and he got lost and turned up late. But to my great delight and surprise there were no Dicks, conversation flowed freely (and so did the booze) and a great time was had by all. Another WOW moment.
Since joining I have followed many different people with shared interests, some have followed me back, and others I have even since ‘unfollowed’ some people whose views I found to be abhorrent (J Bieber lovers you know who you are!), distasteful, and even some whose political or spiritual ideas did not match my own.
But just very recently I have gone back to these two latter two groups and have refollowed many (well okay apart from the complete Dicks).
So why go back and follow those whose views are politically different or even challenge my spiritual beliefs? Well, its because I consider myself to be a free thinker, I enjoy listening to challenging views, especially from different and diverse religions and cultures it makes me reassess my own outlook. For me no belief is set in stone, the world is not black and white but a joyous multi shaded world of shades and hues.
Oh I mentioned religion.. hmm so my views on that.. well I can say that I like Jefferson’s take on Christianity. Did you know that a version of his personal abridged Bible is a traditional gift to all new US Congressmen? Well, you might not be a Congressman (or woman) but here is a copy of it anyway http://bit.ly/bPRK0X its basically the Bible and the great teachings of Jesus but without all the superstitious bits. It made me think.
I dont proclaim it to be the one true faith however. I personally am still agnostic, and that perhaps the truth lies somewhere amongst all of the world’s religions. I just find it preposterous to believe that any mere mortal can claim to have interpreted the word of the Creator without flaw. How can we hope to understand the mind of a God? To me it is our human imperfections that have led to misinterpretation of the teachings and hence to religious conflicts and violence.
Oh and Atheists (yes you) you don’t get off easily either, why can’t you remain open to the possibility that outside the scope of the known universe or universes (no matter how many of them there may be or whatever shape or form they take) that there always remains room for a Creator in both the very large and very small.
Ok so now I have offended the entire world, I’d say thats probably about enough for now, but more random thoughts later.
In the meantime please tell me if you disagree or even if you agree, challenge mine but most importantly:
As Wil Wheaton says “Dont be a Dick”
(Yeah he’s in my blog roll too)
Peace, cheers n beers