Thinking Out Loud

August 13, 2013

Keep the Story, Lose the Illustration

This is a rebroadcast of a piece from September 2011…

Having become previously acquainted with the addictive properties of the internet’s dark side, I can identify with the AA mantra that “one drink is too many and a thousand drinks are not enough.” I have experienced moments where one online image essentially gives you permission to then delve deeper into more of the same, a task easily undertaken when you have the road map memorized.

Of late, this has not been an issue. Facing job uncertainty, the loss of a friendship, or a medical challenge has a way of keeping you focused on things that matter, and making a renewed commitment to purity of thoughts and actions. For me, anyway. I know there are others for whom the same stresses are what drives them to find a way of escape. But lately I have been relatively detoxified and in fact, there are parts of the above-mentioned roadmap that start to fade over time.

But it can only take one idea, one article, or one photograph; and the process can start to unravel. I know this because, about a week ago it happened to me

On a Christian website.

The woman in question, who I believe has written some Christian books, had posted to her site/blog an article about a particularly disturbing trend taking place. I won’t name it, because I don’t want to drive anyone to find it. She posted a number of pictures including one that I don’t feel was absolutely necessary. Furthermore, in the limited internet exploration which did follow, I discovered she had posted a picture that many secular bloggers and media sites had shied away from.

And then, there was the temptation to go back and see how some hold friends are faring, if you get my drift. Heck, I had already started down the road, and I might as well see how the old neighborhood was doing.

But instead, I just sat at the computer, not once, not twice, but several times with my hands hovering over the keyboard, but unable to complete any actual keystrokes. Some would say there was a battle raging. If so, the battle probably stretched out over about three days. In the end, while I somewhat danced around the outskirts of what is for me, the internet’s forbidden zone, I did not actually revisit the old haunts.

But none of this — absolutely none of it — would have happened if a certain Christian internet writer had been content just to report on a problem without feeling the need to add pictures. It was just completely unnecessary. And it was, to at least one person, a huge potential stumbling block.

We all want more readers. We all want to think our particular blog or website is a relevant source of breaking trends and opinion on current issues. The stats provide that affirmation.

But not at any price.

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2 Comments »

  1. Completely agree. My ex-husband, a pastor, wanted to help men overcome addictions to pornography. So he did research on Christian websites. He got hooked. Our marriage was destroyed The end. The AA quote totally fits.

    Comment by Cynthia Almudevar — August 13, 2013 @ 9:52 am

  2. Makes you wonder if the guys and gals who work at the Censorship Boards are some sort of eunuchs!? How do they do ‘research’ to protect viewers without become engaged somehow/sometimes? How do child-porn investigating cops sift through piles of disturbing images and disgusting websites without becoming affected? Kudos to those in law-enforcement (especially) who can take a heavy burden such as ‘investigative research’ and not be destroyed by it in one way (addiction) or another (P.T.S.D.). Never thought that these people should be on our prayer list, but now that we think of it, why would they NOT be on every Christian’s prayer-lists?

    Comment by Flagrant Regard — August 13, 2013 @ 11:05 am


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