Social media – now very much “the world of trolls” – offers us what real life simply cannot, the ability to be all-sufficient. It offers us the possibility to find meaning in our undeveloped and un-self-become humanity. Behind the fiction of a social media profile we can be the men and women we want to be; the person we desire most to present to the world, without ever affecting any real change in the person who we actually are in the real world. This I will call the 'avatar,' the fictive person we create online...
In Britain and Ireland it has become increasingly apparent that mainstream Christianity – the legally established and otherwise respectable churches – has become the preserve of the better off. The so-called underclass has long since been abandoned by the churches, and attendance at Sunday services in the most deprived areas spells out quite clearly the fact that Christianity has become irrelevant to the lives of the vast majority of these people.
Looking in the mirror no longer shows me an image of how I think I look. Now it asks me questions about the future and reminds me that I am no longer the fairest in the land. My young maths students crack the odd joke about me developing bald spot and I find myself envying their youth and stupidity.
After a while I decided to tell him who I was. Without missing a step in his Wellington boots or looking round, he said only “Ah ken that.” This was an unexpected response that forced me to look back hard to see if I could ever remember meeting an older me. I couldn’t.