Are we building our own Tower of Babel?
As I thumb through my social media feed, with its endless parade of success stories and filtered photos, a thought dawns on me: Are we all labouring away at our own digital Tower of Babel? In the biblical narrative, humanity's ambition was to construct a tower with its top in the heavens and to make a name for themselves. Fast forward to the digital age, where the mortar of our modern Tower of Babel is mixed with the trophies of our lives—selfies, achievements, and viral content. We must ponder, to what end do we stack these accolades for all to see?
Genesis 11 recounts humanity’s desire for fame and recognition, culminating in the Tower of Babel. On the surface, our social media feeds seem to reflect our achievements, but I wonder if, beneath the glossy veneer, there’s an emptiness akin to a tower that’s grand from afar but hollow at its core.
I recall a chat with a friend, who confessed that behind his smiling photos was a struggle with loneliness. It hit me then – each post was like a brick laid on the foundation of how he wished to be seen, not the reality of his life. Are our online personas the sum of who we are, or are we chasing an image, a name, that will echo in the digital corridors of time?
In the quest to make a name for ourselves, we plaster our highlights across our profiles. But does this not mirror the tower-builders of Babel, whose ambition led to their downfall? Our updates are a curated exhibition, a highlight reel of life rather than the messy, beautiful reality. We're encouraged to share our best moments, but do we dare to share our worst?
Jesus, a beacon of truth and simplicity, lived a life starkly different from the self-aggrandisement often seen today. He didn't seek validation through grand declarations. Instead, he washed the feet of his disciples – a radical act of service (John 13:1-17). His life wasn't a tower reaching for the heavens; it was a journey among the people, filled with acts of compassion.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Celebrating achievements isn't the issue – it's when our online selves become a Tower of Babel, reaching for likes and shares at the expense of authenticity, that we need to reflect. We construct digital facades that tower high, crafting an image that may crumble under the weight of reality.
The irony of our situation is palpable. At Babel, language was confounded and people were scattered. In our digital age, while languages are translated seamlessly, we scatter ourselves across various platforms, isolated within our echo chambers. Our tongues aren't confused, but perhaps our identities are.
We must ask: For whom are we building this tower? If it's to make a name for ourselves, perhaps it's time to reassess. In a sea of curated content, let’s not lose sight of the value of genuine connection, of building relationships that are not just digital echoes but real conversations.
Imagine if, instead of a tower that reaches the heavens, we build a community that grounds us. What if our digital platforms became places where vulnerability isn't weakness, where genuine achievements are celebrated alongside honest struggles, where we don't just make a name for ourselves, but we make a difference for others?
So, let’s pause before our next post. Let’s consider what we’re truly building with our tweets, stories, and updates. Are they bricks in a tower of pretence, or stepping-stones towards genuine community? Let's build not to make a name for ourselves, but to create a legacy that’s more than a facade, one that Jesus himself would recognise – a legacy of love, service, and truth. After all, isn't it better to be known for the depth of your character than the height of your tower?