Connect with us

OTHER

BreakPoint: From Black Friday to Advent, have a merry (offline) Christmas

Published

on

Black Friday has certainly given America’s cultural reputation a black eye. The day after we pause to give thanks as a nation for God’s provisions, we trample security guards for iPhones and flat-screen televisions. It’s now an annual tradition: America’s big-box stores drop their prices and, in response, shoppers go berserk.

News stations everywhere lead with the requisite embarrassing video footage, showing shoppers crawling over each other, throwing elbows and curse words. Checkout lines at Walmarts and Best Buys nationwide become dangerous places to be or to work. It’s not a good look.

Of course, online Black Friday sales have already been going on for a month now, which allows us to indulge our consumerist tendencies without physical violence. I guess that’s an improvement …

Dennis Prager once told me on a panel that if this is America’s biggest problem — scuffling with each other in a rush to buy presents for our loved ones — we could do a lot worse. I told him that I was not convinced these shoppers were altruistically buying for others, but still, I take his point. There certainly needs to be room for frivolity at Christmas time.

All of this should remind us of the idols vying for our attention this Christmas season. Certainly there is the idol of stuff, but, looking through social media, there is also the idol of other people’s perceptions.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are full of this idol, and we allow ourselves to feel the pressure. All those pictures of a perfectly decorated home of perfectly well-behaved and perfectly matching children, complete with color, theme and pattern-coordinating attire. Matching Christmas pajamas, shown off with a family lip-sync.

See also  Social Networks Software Market 2028 Size, Key Companies, Trends, Growth And Regional ...

All the Pinterest-worthy décor and Instagram-worthy celebration videos reveal a different kind of materialism — a materialism of experience. And it has become another distraction in a season meant for holy reflection.

Throughout church history, the days leading up to Christmas celebrations were to be a time of fasting. Many liturgically oriented Christians see Advent as a bookend to Lent, the liturgical season of fasting and prayer that occurs in the 40 days before Easter. For Christians, Advent is a time to reflect on Jesus’ first incarnation and prepare for his second coming. The Bible doesn’t prescribe this outright, of course, but Advent does provide us with a different calendar to go by, something especially helpful today in our hurried cultural moment.

Unfortunately, for many of us, Black Friday settles into a rushed and hurried holiday-season rhythm. And for many, along with the chaos comes the melancholy. It’s a frustrating paradox: Feeling sad during what’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

Jesus offers some insight in the Gospel of Matthew, when he calls the weary and burdened to come to him. “I will give you rest,” he said. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Obviously, Jesus isn’t saying that to follow him means having an easy or comfortable life. After all, his own earthly life wasn’t easy or comfortable in any sense. When he says his “yoke is easy,” I think at least part of what he’s talking about is simplicity.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Maybe our Christmastime melancholy is the byproduct of all the pressure to have a good time and all the options we have in order to have a good time and all the pressure we face to prove to others on social media that we’ve had a good time. After all, our culture implicitly convinces us, you’ll only know you’re having a wonderful, valuable life if you follow every Pinterest recipe and constantly upload joyful moments to Instagram and Facebook and get lots of likes.

See also  Twitter to Roll Out 'Official' Label for Some Verified Accounts Alongside Paid $8 Verification Check Mark

We’re afraid our lives won’t be full, but neglect that which will fill us: reflecting on holy things, like Mary’s obedience and Jesus’ sacrifice; embracing ordinary beauty like extra time with family and special traditions.

By all means, enjoy the frivolity. But don’t lose the season curating online versions of holiday experiences or by comparing your curated memories with theirs. Celebrate Jesus’ birth. Give gifts freely. Eat some extra calories.

Have a Merry Christmas — just don’t feel the pressure to put it on Instagram.

From BreakPoint, Nov. 29, 2019; reprinted by permission of the Colson Center, www.breakpoint.org.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Read More

Continue Reading
Advertisement free widgets for website
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

OTHER

What Are WhatsApp Polls and How Do You Use Them? All You Need to Know

Published

on

By

what-are-whatsapp-polls-and-how-do-you-use-them?-all-you-need-to-know

WhatsApp’s new features and updates which have rolled out over the past few months have made the messaging experience much better. Now, WhatsApp users can even create polls in personal and group chats to see what their friends and contacts think. Both iOS and Android users can use this feature. A poll could help take the opinions of group members on any topic or idea, or could be useful for making plans quickly. Just like your chats, the responses you send to a poll question will be protected by end-to-end encryption. At the moment, Telegram and Facebook Messenger allow group polls. You can easily start using this new WhatsApp feature on your smartphone.

Here is How to Create a WhatsApp Poll

Step 1: Update WhatsApp to the latest version

Step 2: Open the private or group chat in which you want to create a poll

Step 3: For Android, tap on the paper clip icon at the bottom of the screen. For iOS, select the plus (+) icon at the bottom of the screen.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Step 4: Select ‘Poll’

Step 5: Type the question you want to ask, along with response options

Step 6: Finally, tap on ‘Send’ to share the poll

Up to twelve response options can be offered to recipients for each poll, and these are not time-bound. Users can also see the responses selected by others by tapping on ‘View votes’.

The Meta-owned messaging app has recently worked on several updates, rolling out new tools including the Call Link feature, the ability to message yourself, and Companion Mode. While some of these new features are not available to all users at the moment, WhatsApp does plan to make them accessible to everyone in the coming days. The most recent and talked-about feature apart from WhatsApp polls is Communities. These allow users to have separate groups under one “Community” to organize large conversations.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

“With Communities, we’re aiming to raise the bar for how organizations communicate with a level of privacy and security not found anywhere else. The alternatives available today require trusting apps or software companies with a copy of their messages – and we think they deserve the higher level of security provided by end-to-end encryption,” stated WhatsApp in a blog post.

See also  Twitter Blue Subscribers Can Now Remove the Spaces Button, Customise Navigation Bar
Continue Reading

OTHER

Elon Musk Calls Donald Trump’s Twitter Ban ‘Grave Mistake’, Condemns Violence

Published

on

By

elon-musk-calls-donald-trump’s-twitter-ban-‘grave-mistake’,-condemns-violence

Twitter’s ban on then President Donald Trump after January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by his supporters was a “grave mistake” that had to be corrected, Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Friday, although he also stated that incitement to violence would continue to be prohibited on Twitter.

“I’m fine with Trump not tweeting. The important thing is that Twitter correct a grave mistake in banning his account, despite no violation of the law or terms of service,” Musk said in a tweet. “Deplatforming a sitting President undermined public trust in Twitter for half of America.”

Last week, Musk announced the reactivation of Trump’s account after a slim majority voted in a Twitter poll in favor of reinstating Trump, who said, however, that he had no interest in returning to Twitter. He added he would stick with his own social media site Truth Social, the app developed by Trump Media & Technology Group.

Republican Trump, who 10 days ago announced he was running for election again in 2024, was banned on January 8, 2021, from Twitter under its previous owners.

At the time, Twitter said it permanently suspended him because of the risk of further incitement of violence following the storming of the Capitol. The results of the November 2020 presidential election won by Democrat Joe Biden were being certified by lawmakers when the Capitol was attacked after weeks of false claims by Trump that he had won.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Trump repeatedly used Twitter and other sites to falsely claim there had been widespread voter fraud, and had urged supporters to march on the Capitol in Washington to protest.

See also  WhatsApp to Introduce Cloud-Based API Services, Confirms Meta Platform CEO Mark Zuckerberg

The attack is being investigated by US prosecutors and a congressional committee.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday on Musk’s statement that Trump did not violate any Twitter terms of service when his account was suspended.

Earlier on Friday, Musk tweeted that calling for violence or incitement to violence on Twitter would result in suspension, after saying on Thursday that Twitter would provide a “general amnesty” to suspended accounts that had not broken the law or engaged in spam.

Replying to a tweet, Musk said it was “very concerning” that Twitter had taken no action earlier to remove some accounts related to the far-left Antifa movement. In response to another tweet asking if Musk considered the statement “trans people deserve to die” as worthy of suspension from the platform, the billionaire said: “Absolutely”.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Change and chaos have marked Musk’s first few weeks as Twitter’s owner. He has fired top managers and it was announced that senior officials in charge of security and privacy had quit.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Continue Reading

OTHER

WhatsApp Reportedly Testing Voice Status Update for iOS Beta: All Details

Published

on

By

whatsapp-reportedly-testing-voice-status-update-for-ios-beta:-all-details

WhatsApp, the Meta-owned instant messaging app, is reportedly working on a feature that will let iOS users share voice notes in their status updates. As of now, the users can only share pictures, videos and links in their WhatsApp status. However, once the new feature will be rolled out, WhatsApp users on iOS will be reportedly able to share voice notes or voice clips as well in their status updates on the app. According to the report, the messaging platform is testing the feature on iOS Beta for an upcoming update.

According to a report by WhatsApp development tracker WABetaInfo, WhatsApp users on iOS will be able to share a voice note of up to 30 seconds alongside text in their status updates, similar to what they can currently do in a WhatsApp chat.

The report has also shared a screengrab of the same, hinting at the upcoming feature, which shows a microphone icon on the bottom of the text status.

WhatsApp on iOS users will be required to click on the microphone icon and record their voice to upload it as their status update. They can even add text to it, if needed. It is worth noting that the voice status updates will only be shared with the people selected in the privacy settings. Also, these voice notes will always be end-to-end encrypted.

Not only iOS, but this ability is said to be also being tested in WhatsApp beta for Android’s upcoming update. As of now, this feature is still under development, so it would be very early to say anything.

Advertisement
free widgets for website

Meanwhile, WhatsApp recently rolled out WhatsApp Polls to users on both Android and iOS. The Polls feature was introduced alongside ‘Communities’, a feature that allows users to have separate groups under one umbrella to organise group conversations. WhatsApp Polls lets users create polls within the group with the ability to vote. Facebook Messenger and Telegram currently allow users to add group polls. WhatsApp’s poll feature will be protected by end-to-end encryption.

See also  PINS Stock: It's Hard to Believe It Has Become a Contrarian Buy | InvestorPlace

Affiliate links may be automatically generated – see our ethics statement for details.

Continue Reading

Trending