December 28, 2012

Ephemeral Inheritance

Category: Miscellaneous :: Permalink

A book is a gift that keeps on giving.  If you write a book and have it published, it has a certain weightiness to it; it ends up (you hope) in someone’s library; it gets passed on to someone’s children.  Maybe — just maybe — it becomes a classic.  But even if it doesn’t, it may still influence generations to come.  I hope that happens, for instance, to Jim Jordan’s Through New Eyes.  How awful if that were forgotten by the next generation.

Blogging, however, isn’t nearly as weighty or as lasting.  When I am dead, will someone collect all of my blog entries and pass them on to my children and they to theirs?  Never mind me.  My thoughts may not be worth collecting.  What about Peter Leithart?  There’s gold in his blog entries, of which he sometimes turns out two or three a day.  Some of them will show up in books, and for that I’m thankful because that form of publication will give them longer life.  But will the individual blog entries last into coming generations?  I doubt it.

Facebook and Twitter?  They’re useful tools.  You can draft a sentence or two and send it out and find out immediately that a bunch of your friends have read it and liked it, and God may use that to influence a lot of people in good ways.  But they’re ephemeral in the extreme.  Ever remembered something one of your friends said and then tried to track it down?  Even if you remember who said it, good luck finding it on his Facebook page.  It’s not that sort of medium.  Nothing in it lasts into the future.  Except those embarrassing photos someone tagged you in.

By all means post helpful comments in your Facebook status or Tweet a sentence you’ve just read.  But if you want your thoughts to last a bit longer and for people to be able to find them again, don’t shut down your blog (as some people seem to have).  And if you want your thoughts to be preserved for future generations, there’s still no substitute for a book.

Posted by John Barach @ 2:58 pm | Discuss (1)

One Response to “Ephemeral Inheritance”

  1. Mike Bull Says:

    My thoughts exactly. : )

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