Melancholy

This isn’t a new cartoon, but the only other place to find it is buried on my old blog. Nothing much to add to my original analysis: I think that the online world tends to cope better with happiness than sadness. This is a generalisation of course, and generalisations are usually wrong. That said people…

news-feed

This isn’t a new cartoon, but the only other place to find it is buried on my old blog.

Nothing much to add to my original analysis:

I think that the online world tends to cope better with happiness than sadness. This is a generalisation of course, and generalisations are usually wrong. That said people will rally round on your Facebook page during times of trial, so perhaps it depends more on the nature of your happiness or sadness. The same is true of the church. Loneliness or depression, for instance, do not tend to attract as much sympathy as something involving an impressive bandage.

The causes of online absences are notoriously difficult to diagnose. It could be that your friend who has not been seen on Twitter for a week is desperately unhappy, or it could just be that they have forgotten their password or that the wire has come out of the back of their computer. Sadly the likelihood is that few people will notice, as there is always someone else posting something interesting.

They could, of course, have realised that nothing beats face to face contact with an actual human being who is in the same room. But that said, some of these people could have been ones they met through a shared interest in being on the internet.

What I’m trying to say, in essence, is that the world of online computing is both terribly good and terribly bad. I realise that this is not a clear and coherent statement of belief, which is why I have never been asked to play any significant role in devising creeds for any of the world religions.

ENDS

4 Comments

  1. Very true. I think often small groups are the only place considered appropriate to share these kinds of personal things. There is inevitably an asymmetry; you may be invited to the front to tell a wondrous story of God’s providence on a Sunday morning, but you may only share some quiet despair with the few in your group on a Tuesday evening.

    Happiness is more attractive than sadness, and the modern church seems ill-equipped to deal with that. Even though, of all places, church is best suited to treating some of the (non-medical) causes of low-mood; support, community and a meaningful narrative.

    I suffered alone. I heard the plight only only few occasions of others in similarly dark places. If God was there, he didn’t bring friends.

    1. Very true Dave.

      Thanks so much for posting this – I appreciate your bravery and courage.

      Coincidentally (or not), I am preaching on psalms 42 & 43 this Sunday.

  2. One thing that really annoys me is that trite tale about the single set of footprints. In a time of great trial, if God is carrying me, I’m unaware of it at that time or in retrospect. A real friend can be someone you see or someone you know from the internet – and I love my internet friends, who sometimes understand me better than almost anyone. But it can be hard to know how to help when someone is depressed.

  3. Maybe the next time I’m depressed or lonely I’ll wear to church a bandage on my head and a bandaid on my shirt over my heart. That’s if I make it church. And have the energy to find bandages and bandaids… hmmm…

    Maybe best to just find someone to hug.

    I like hugs.

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