Some researchers from Leeds University have found that people who spend too much time on the internet are prone to depression. More particularly, those who regularly participate in what are known as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are five times as likely to show signs of depression as non addicted internet users.
I refuse to register on Facebook because it sounds dreadful. Ex girlfriends contact you with paternity suits and people “unfriend” you. I did however register on Twitter because it looked like much less effort and I was under a bit of peer pressure to join the 21st century and show some interest in social media. All you have to do with Twitter is describe what you’re doing now. If you’re really bored with life you can find me under the name of Guntherlunch. I “tweet” (this is what they call a maximum of 140 characters entry) a few words of wisdom every day from my computer and now have 460 followers which is more than COPE. Real Twitter anoraks like Stuff magazine’s Tony Shipshape seem to tweet every 30 seconds from their smart phones which is a pretty dreadful waste of a life if you ask me but each to their own. I’m still trying to work out what the point is but at least I’m a bona fide member of the social network brother/sisterhood which isn’t a bad claim for a 57 year old who should probably know better.
The big question of course is….would Jesus Christ have used social media? There is a line in the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” … “if you’d come today you would have reached a whole nation, Israel in 4BC had no mass communication”. Tim Rice wrote those lyrics long before the advent of Facebook or Twitter so the burning philosophical question (largely ignored by the C of E General Synod) is whether Jesus would have Twittered or invited people to be his friend on Facebook.
As I mentioned I’ve already got 460 followers so I would rather hope that JC would do slightly better than the 12 he managed in the New Testament. That would, of course, put a bit of a strain on the catering arrangements for the last supper. So let’s assume that everything is as it was described and JC is busy tweeting things like “Invited to a wedding…wine ran out. Did a miracle, Guests very impressed” or “Jamie Oliver eat your heart out. Five loaves, two fishes, 5000 happy customers. Respect”. It doesn’t really work does it? And the tweet from the Mount doesn’t have nearly as convincing a ring to it as the Sermon on the Mount.
Also hard to imagine JC bothering with Facebook and posting pics of his hols in Galilee . Or “unfriending” Judas and putting up gossipy comments about Thomas never believing anything you tell him.
And bearing in mind the research from Leeds University would anyone really want to found a religion that relied on a whole bunch of depressives to get it going?