The Mike Church Show World HQ
The Mike Church Show World HQ

Our Digital Age Makes Us Less Community-Centered Thus Less Human

Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – Consider what it is that the internet does.  It desensitizes people to human concerns.  You would not yell at your fellow man, in person, in the manner and would not call him or her the names.  You would not insult their heritage, their parents, their children, their neighbors.  Ninety-nine percent of what is done online that continually desensitizes and coarsens our discourse, cheapens it and makes it more unintelligent than it already is would not be done in person.  You would not do that if the man was sitting across from you. Check out the rest in today’s transcript…

 

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Mike:  It is an indication of our current collective state of denial and putrid state of existence that men and women are so infatuated with partisanship and parties.  I am bombarded on a daily business for things I never signed up for.  I don’t even know how they wind up in my email inbox, which is why I have a very private email address that I don’t give out.  I’m bombarded on a daily basis.  There must be 60 Tea Party groups out there.  I get notices from all of them.

I am amazed by the infatuation with the federal edifice.  I think it is unhealthy.  I think some of you people, really, just leave the computer, leave the Facebook page, leave the internet.  Try to not hit the FW button in your email for a week, try it for a day.  Here’s something interesting, something challenging, rather, pick the phone up:  Hey, Sam, how are you?  —  Mike, great to hear from you, what’s up?  —  Well, sir, I wish to converse with you.  I think Andrew was always shocked when he looked down at his crackberry and sees Mike Church calling you.  You probably think, “Uh oh, what did I do?”  I think the same thing when you call me.  I go, “Uh oh, what happened?”

AG:  It’s a little weird to actually physically talk on the phone now.

Mike:  It is.  When I see Andrew Gruss, I think two things: either something really great or something really horrible has happened.

AG:  What did he mess up?

Mike:  Or what is he calling to try to get me to do?  What is Gorab trying to get me to do that Gruss is going to call and try to talk me into?

AG:  Which company wants to do live reads.

Mike:  I never think Andrew is just calling to say: Hey, man, great show today.  I just wanted to talk to you about that and say we ought to do more of that.  —  Yeah, good talking to you, bud.  It’s the same thing when my phone rings.  How many of you suffer from answering-the-phone-itis?  You see the phone, “What does he want?”  We’re almost like recluses.  I find myself doing it all the time.  What do they want?  Leave me alone.  I just want to be left alone.  Send me a text message.  I don’t want to talk to you.  I think that’s part of the problem.  That is what Nisbet was pointing out in his phenomenal book Quest for Community.  Where are our communities?

I bring this up because this is what I believe is one of the great challenges of our day.  It’s not a political challenge, it’s a human challenge, a personal challenge.  It’s a challenge among Christian gentlemen and gentle women of good conscience.  Once again, congregate, gather, talk, break bread, drink, party, worship, pray, be solemn, be serious, be ebullient, be effusive, but be together.  No, that’s not a communist thing to do, that’s just a community thing to do.  That’s what republicanism is, when you know your neighbors.  That doesn’t mean you’ve got to move in with them.  It is so easy to become consumed with impersonal electronic communication.  I find these days that everyone wants to work on this thing called the Cloud.  We basically work on the cloud here during the Mike Church Show.  Andrew and Eric are in our home studio, Music 6 on Lee Abrams Way in Washington, DC, the palatial, beautiful radio palace that Abrams and Hugh Panero built there back in 2000 or 2001.  It was a dump, an abandoned warehouse.

AG:  Yeah, it was not in the greatest part of town and we’ve fashioned it up nicely.  Next time you come to DC, I know we were talking about the cranes all around, but it is completely different from even three, four months ago.

Mike:  It’s a great place.  The point is that they are there and I’m about 1,100 miles away as the eagle flies here in my studio on the outskirts of New Orleans, Louisiana, in a little hamlet called Mandeville.  My hometown football team is the Mandeville Skippers.  I live in Madisonville, Louisiana.  Here’s a cool thing that I’ve found I really enjoy over the last couple of years, a guy who owns a hardware store in Madisonville, he knows me.  I know my barber by first name and he knows me.  I know the head of the Chamber of Commerce.  I know the restaurateurs on a first-name basis.  This is what Nisbet was writing about in the quest for community.  This is the way things used to be.  The more engrained and fixated we’ve become with these electronic devices, the more difficult community becomes.

I don’t think an electronic community is a community at all.  You’re not actually meeting people and experiencing human interaction.  You’re experiencing digital interaction with all of the good stuff about human interaction removed.  Somebody in your crowd might be stinky.  Somebody might be a loudmouth.  Somebody might stutter.  Somebody may be tall, short, skinny, fat.  That’s the beauty of the human condition: we’re all different.  You’ll never know that if all of your meetings and all your deliberations over the great issues of our day are done on a Facebook page, which is why I suppose I should not be so depressed and have an outlook on life that is so jaundiced when I read comments on message boards.

Consider what it is that the internet does.  It desensitizes people to human concerns.  You would not yell at your fellow man, in person, in the manner and would not call him or her the names.  You would not insult their heritage, their parents, their children, their neighbors.  Ninety-nine percent of what is done online that continually desensitizes and coarsens our discourse, cheapens it and makes it more unintelligent than it already is would not be done in person.  You would not do that if the man was sitting across from you.  You’d probably have to work it out unless you just wanted to get in a fight every 30 seconds.  This is what the online world and the digital world has done.  I think it’s an issue.  I don’t think a government should solve it.  I think we ought to solve it, and the only way I know to solve it is to actually get out.  Push the keyboard away and get out every now and then.

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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