The Sin of Blogging

October 19, 2006 — 14 Comments


In the recent edition of Ambassador Youth, a publication of the Restored Church of God, writer Kevin Denee took on the blogosphere, coming to the conclusion that “NO ONE–including adults–should have a blog or personal website (unless it is for legitimate business purposes).” Denee took on cyberstalking and inappropriate content on social networking sites such as MySpace, making a strong argument against its use. He also look at the emotional immaturity shown on many blogs.

“Most blogs, especially by teenagers,” said Denee, “serve as nothing more than public diaries…Certainly, professional weblogs can make a positive difference within some elements of society. However, teen blogging does not.”

Denee also looked at the “openness” of blogs and lack of privacy. “People will now do and say things that should only be done in private—or, frankly, should not be said or done at all.” A quick surf through MySpace or even Xanga quickly reveals a shocking level of “dirt” that would never be exposed in daylight.

“Propriety, decorum and decency are not elements considered on blogs. People simply blurt things out, without considering the contents or consequences.”

Kevin Denee continues his evaluation of blogs by taking on a tough pill to swallow for bloggers around the world, whether they are social network addicts or even professionals: vanity.

“If you post mundane details of your life, you are in effect saying that your life is important and that people should read about it,” he exhorts. “Also, whether or not you admit it, having a blog with your name, your picture and your opinions strokes the human ego—it lifts you up. It essentially advertises the self! Many teenagers say, “Listen to me, world, and what I have to say,” when they should be focused on changing and cleaning up their lives.”

In a close correlation, he took on the sin of idle words found on many blogs. He lists issues such as “blathering on blogs—mindless words and idle communication,” foul language, as well as the filthy quizzes found on most sites, namely MySpace. “The contents of blogs can often best be described as “trashy” and express shallowness,” concludes Renee. “What is deemed as a higher level of communication is simply a mindless form of entertainment.

Another aspect that Kevin Denee attacks, or rather points out, is the issue of boredom. “Teens spend hours on these blogs searching, reading about other people and writing their own thoughts…Boredom in action.”

A large part of this evaluation was spent on the “appearance of evil.”

“…Sometimes questionable photos are posted. People can easily draw conclusions about a person by his photos—whether they are right conclusions or wrong ones. For example, what would you conclude if you saw multiple pictures of a person holding up a beer bottle? You might assume he is someone who spends a lot of time partying. It doesn’t matter whether the person is of drinking age and that they had only one drink—there is no way to know the context when only looking at a series of pictures.

Another element is that inappropriate advertisements can show up on one’s webpage. An example would be “Are YOU a good flirt?”, with hearts dancing around the ad. While most Internet users would know that you can’t control the showing of certain ads, others would not know this and would assume you are responsible.

Blogs can easily link to each other. This social network allows people to become “friends” fairly easily with another blogger. As soon as this happens, the person is viewed as a friend by anyone who visits the blog. Whether or not the person is a friend, the appearance of evil is glaring in such situations. Young people in the world are far different then those in the Church of God. The things most will say and do—even on someone else’s blog—will make one blush.
This “friends” problem goes further than just appearances. Just as in person, such people will pull you toward the world and its temptations. This is just another reason blogs are unnecessary for God’s youth.”


In a sudden change of events,
and probably because of a large backlash, the writer wisely changed his statement that ““NO ONE–including adults–should have a blog or personal website (unless it is for legitimate business purposes)” to “RCG youth, and even adults, should not personally blog or maintain the type of personal websites described above.” Most readers by this point understand that the writer is speaking of a normal teen blog found on MySpace, Xanga, and even Blogger. Originally, the mistake was made when social networking sites and “blogs” were lumped together into one whole without considering the major differences found between the two.

Kevin Denee did a wonderful job in exposing the dangers found within these social networking sites,
and comes to the right conclusion – it is a bad idea to have one for all the reasons he describes in great detail. And it is obvious that many have taken this article in the wrong light, especially in its original form. So, in conclusion, we as bloggers and readers must take this in its proper light, expressing gratitude to this writer for his wise words of exhortation and taking to heart the issue of social networking sites which cannot be ignored and must be addressed head on.

Edit: Notice I said “social networking sites” when I mention he came to the right conclusion. Not blogs. Just making that ultra-clear.

Tim Sweetman

Posts

Tim Sweetman is a 22-year-old writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

14 responses to The Sin of Blogging

  1. The author has some valid points, but his conslusion is horribly off.

    The internet can be used for good or evil, just like most anything else. The Holy Bible can be used for evil! The words inside can be contorted into a call to violence, or the book itself used as a weapon.

    If the article is truly convicting to you, then follow the author’s advice and stop blogging.

    - Bill Dubya

  2. I added an edit to my post, Bill. But that is well-said. Exactly what I was thinking when I first read through his article.

  3. Back to the dead horse…:D

    I am curious as to the difference between a blog, and say a xanga page. They are both posting sites, and display the most recent post on the top of the page, as well as give the ability to link to other sites.

    People will be people, no matter where they are. The ‘social networking’ sites are not the cause of the evil in the world, they’re just a representation of what goes on in the real world. Do we want to hide from it and shun those who are on them, or use them while choosing not to view the evil on there? Thats how we go through life.

  4. I think what I am going to do is to do a highly detailed look at the average “blog” (Agent Tim Online, Challies.com, Spunkyhomeschool.com) and a MySpace/Xanga blog. And I mean _detailed_. All the way down to going “behind the lines.”

    I think in that way I can prove my point about social netoworking sites being a “breeding ground” versus blogs which seem to deter such immaturity, at least to a higher degree.

    In the end, it will be a much fairer evaluation.

  5. Interesting. I find I agree with Palm Boy–it’s just character exposed, and if you have a blog and have good character and discipline, good will most likely come of it. If you’re in sin…guess what you’re going to post about?
    However, xanga, myspace, etc. certainly aren’t the best places overall. There are a few exceptions to the rule–Heidi M.’s xanga (a_blessed_servant) and JoAnna Talbott’s xanga (in_this_last_hour) are good examples. They strive for excellence in their xangas, and there’s good fruit. My xanga, however, is mostly a place where i keep up with friends on the other side of town who I see only once or twice a month. Not terribly profitable, and I don’t spend too much time there at all. But there is good in it, and it’s a handy way of remembering things like “Oh, she’s got her SAT tomorrow–I’ll be praying for that.” But you know that!
    I’m rambling now…but I think he’s a bit too legalistic and drastic. However, it poses a good challenge–what are we not doing by keeping blogs that we should be doing instead? What relationships are we missing out on where we are physically by choosing to keep up with someone’s blog all the way across the nation? It’s a good challenge, and I think it’s good you posted this so we can examine ourselves to test our hearts and motives and the fruit of our time blogging. :-)
    Sorry for the tome…I’ll keep it shorter next time!

  6. Tim! don’t do Challies.com or your blog! Y’all are execptional and unusual..not average blogs at all! You can compare my blog and xanga if you like (I’m mediocre and average, fo’ sure). Just to say–you’re excellent and it’ wouldn’t be fair to use yours as an example. :-P

  7. Well, thank you Jacqui. I’m attempting to get an interview with the founder of WiredSafety, which Xanga is assosciated with, as is MySpace. I’m determined to get to the bottom of the issue — and I know it’s sin. But we can’t just say “well, it’s just sin” and go on and allow sites like MySpace to rage out of control.

    It’s a tough issue, and it’s harder to deal with than most think.

  8. Hmm…this guy has an interesting perspective, and most of what he says is true as far as I can see. He brings up some incredible points.
    However it depends on the person – who should blog or have a personal page and who shouldn’t. Some people abuse that privilige. I peronally have used my blog to learn what I should and shouldn’t say.
    Also I like his point of blogging can be a vanity…it’s entirely true. (From personal experience…:)

    I enjoyed this post (ha ha, to my surprise!) – gives me something to work on perfecting…

  9. Some very interesting and true points. It troubles me to see folks, however “innocently”, using blogs/forums to ramble, gossip, and just plain waste precious time. And while some might argue that “as long as I’m NOT gossiping or swearing, I’m fine”, the mindset of Christianity is not only whether or not something is wrong, but whether is is BEST. Whether is brings glory to God. For example…something may not be inherently evil, but too often “harmless fun” means we’re taking precious moments of our lives – gifts from our Creator – and throwing them away when we could be using them for something of eternal worth.

    Thanks for sharing this article! You are right on that it all comes down to sin. Sadly, so MANY THINGS with such potential for good are quickly caught up in the plan of Satan and used for evil. We can be sure he’ll never just sit back and watch good happen!

    Thank you again. Even though from the onset of my blog I have been determined to keep a focus and Christ-like mission, your post (and this article) have still been a beneficial reminder!

    In Christ,
    Claire

  10. I agree with the author on the following points:
    that there are vanity blogs,
    that the ads may be misunderstood if the blogger has no control over them, hence the medium plays a vital role,
    that putting pics with bottles can be misleading,
    that people blurt things out with no regard to their consequences,
    that many teenagers say, “Listen to me, world, and what I have to say,” when they should be focused on changing and cleaning up their lives.”

    However, I do not agree that no one should blog. He should’ve looked more thoroughly and showed the difference between Agent Tim’s blog and other “vanity” blogs.

    “Let’s not punish the whole class because of 1, 3 or 5 students”

  11. I think that if you have a blog it should be totaly glorifying to God. If it is then it is fine for you to blog.

  12. Cool article, Tim. I obviously don’t agree with hom or I wouldn’t have a blog!!!

    Jordan

  13. A very interesting article. Most of the blogs that I have read are not like the ones that he describes. Maybe that is because I’ve really only looked at blogs that seemed to have a Christian focus.

  14. alyssa jariol April 2, 2007 at 5:02 AM

    All i can say is, people want to express themselves and yes there are so many ways, and one of those ways is the Internet. People express themselves in blogs to find out or reach out to those who might feel this way. And by reaching out this way, they find out one thing together – They are not alone.

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