— NICK HARSH —
Tony Reinke, in his book, “Competing Spectacles,” says we are hardwired with an unquenchable appetite to see glory. “Our hearts seek splendor as our eyes scan for greatness.” The longing to see greatness is not a flaw in our makeup — it’s intrinsically human. You were designed to marvel at glorious things. And, the entire cosmos was created to direct your attention to the only One who can satiate that longing. Truly, the heavens are declaring the glory of God. Yet so often, we look for glory in things that were never intended to carry the weight of our worship. “The world aches to be awed. That ache was made for God. The world seeks it mainly through movies,” media, and social platforms. Our society is in perpetual pursuit of entertainment, which Aldous Huxley described as, “man’s almost infinite appetite for distraction.”
Most media is intended to arrest your attention and to captivate you with an endless stream of videos, ads, and images. This is how social platforms make money, it is how marketers create loyalty to a brand, and this is how corporations get you to buy their products. It is impossible to overstate the number of distractions that exist in a technology-driven, image-saturated culture. We are in danger of amusing ourselves to death.
Not long ago I updated the Facebook app on my phone (May 11, 2019, to be exact). After a few minutes, I realized that my eyes were drawn to the little tiny Facebook app logo for reasons imperceptible to my senses — weird. Perhaps, I am oblivious, but it took me most of the morning to determine what had happened. The Facebook logo was different. No longer was the logo a deep blue color with the classic “Facebook f” slightly to one side of the rounded square. Instead, the logo was a lighter shade of blue — the difference was practically unnoticeable. Additionally, the classic “Facebook f” was centered rather than offset to one side. Forgive me if I am making a big deal about nothing, but the difference was so subtle that a person may not even see it unless it was pointed out to them. All the same, the subtle difference was enough to draw my eyes to the app over and over until I identified the cause. You may think I am making a big deal about nothing — perhaps.
But, understand that at some point a group of Facebook marketers sat around a conference table and discussed the need to change the shade of their logo. Someone spent paid company time to move that “Facebook f” to the center of their logo. Why? Their job is to keep you wowed by something that was never intended to bring lasting satisfaction. Facebook’s primary goal is to distract you with their product, and it works.
Note: This is where I try to convince you that the way you interact with media and social platforms has significant implications on your walk with God — you’ve been warned.
Unlike Facebook (and other social platforms), Jesus has never changed (Hebrews 13:8), never needed an update, never hired a marketing team, and is entirely able to carry the weight of your worship. We were not meant to be captivated by a continuous feed of images. We were created to marvel at the glory of Jesus who is the perfect image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). How sad it would be if we were so captivated by an endless stream of media that we failed to gaze deeply at the beautiful person of Jesus. He alone is worthy of our complete affection and worship (Revelation 7:12).
 Reinke, Tony. Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in the Media Age. Wheaton: Crossway, 2019, loc. 192.
 John Piper, twitter.com, April 12, 2017.
 Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (New York: Harper & Row, 1958), 35
 Actually, it was probably a circle of beanbag chairs. That’s what all the cool companies are doing these days.