Columns 5.8.2013 08:45 am

Take a byte from this Apple…

Jennie Ridyard

Jennie Ridyard

Hail, hail the new religion, for is that not what we have found in the Holy Trinity of Google, Facebook and Twitter?

Lo, on Sunday mornings we gather in the light of a screen, or sit alone in silent contemplation, picking out like a mantra our online prayer: “OMG”. We take greedy bites of the Apple of knowledge, or hope to enter heaven through the pearly Bill Gates. We bow before the Gospel according to Wikipedia and confess everything to the all-knowing, all-embracing Status Update.

We are judged, praised, condemned, and our spelling is corrected by shadowy Grammar Nazis, while internet trolls damn us to hell.

We photograph The Last Supper we had, then instagram it to the world. We take holidays in ancient cities or atop mountains, wielding our tablets like Moses did, rendering upon them our own Commandments. Then we click “share” and the truth is spread to our followers and “friends”. Some merely dabble, checking church times online and googling their own names.

Others are found in free-wifi cafes morning, noon and night, tweeting each passing epiphany, blogging their sermons, and singing the praises of lolcats. Still others share toilet photos with giggling friends via Snapchat, sending images like miracles via smartphones, visions that leave only the spirit of something gross that broke the waterline imprinted on memories.

Verily, our chorus swells, Gangnam-style. We speak in tongues: LOL, we say, and ROFL, YOLO, BRB, and GTG. (For the heathens who still sign letters “yours sincerely”, I shall translate: that’s laugh-out-loud, roll-on-the-floorlaughing, you-only-live-once, beright-back, and got-to-go.) Like a religion, the plugged-in world offers an answer to everything and a friend to everyone. We are reborn in our avatars; we embrace kibbutzim on Farmville.

We cure diseases on WebMD, make our offerings via Paypal, and wage war on the sinners, the Muslims, the Bible-thumpers, the atheists, the smokers, the non-smokers, the homosexuals, the obese, the anorexic, the ugly, the beautiful, and Justin Bieber. Then we wage actual war in Syria too, smiting the unbelievers with Twitter’s sword of eternal, instantaneous truth.

Indeed, through the miracle of YouTube the scales fall from our eyes as we bear witness to modern miracles like Monkey Rapes Frog. Yea, I tell thee, this is the way, the truth, and the light.

It’s also how to lose your way, spread untruths and spend days alone in the dark.

 

08

today in print