Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Comment on Comments (with comments)

I commented on a blog! On an NPR radio show blog!
I haven't commented on a blog in years, and outside of some blogs I don't usually even bother reading the comments. I think the blog commenting process is similar to that of getting into a car and feeling safe enough to have road rage. Suddenly you're in a large cage that will give you the courage to flip off people who, outside the car, could kick your ass. When commenting on a blog, you sit in your jammies and use a false name and flip off the whole world. Whenever I've felt like commenting, I've been angry, and that is no mood in which to take to the internet.
Sometimes I read them out of curiosity and/or for humor's sake. Just last night, I read comments over at the blog about their Super Bowl ads. I was able to discern that most people were angry about the Tibet one, and I enjoyed one comment that said something like "shame on you, Groupon. Again. SHAME ON YOU." Heh, that still makes me laugh.
Anyway, today I was listening to The Takeaway, and they featured someone from Beliefnet talking about the new Confession App that everyone is sending me notes about these days. They said why has religion (who is this "religion" they're asking about?) been so resistant to technology and social media? They said the Pope hasn't exactly approved the app, but hasn't not approved it, either... and they wondered if the new model of church will be the online forum.
So many responses leap to mind.
1) can you imagine a church that's like an online forum? See above. I'll take a buncha people praying quietly together in one room any old day over that.
2) I don't know about "religion" but all we hear about these days from the RCC is about using technology and social media for evangelization, etc. There doesn't seem to be much resistance there, except here in Boston where everyone is assumed to be a child molester.
(oh, that's harsh. I should delete that.)
3) and here's what I said to the Takeaway people. This app is basically a back-lit version of the paper handouts at the door (or that should be at the door) of every Catholic Church that say "How to go to Confession." No big whoop. Sure it's got some bells and whistles but whatever. It's not a local, high-tech confessional. If what I hear is true, there's nothing there for the pope to be against. It's SUCH a non-story.
The bigger story, I'd say, is how popular it seems to be. It's 1.99 to download, which to me is a major commitment, app-wise. I'll spend .99 out of curiosity, but I would only spend two bucks on an app that I intended to use, and use... religiously. Ha! Sorry.
Anyway, maybe it's just me but that's the significant takeaway here. The app is listed at #22 top grossing and #23 top paid apps on the list. That's huge, no?
Last year our parish had surprisingly bigger crowds at Lenten Masses than we could remember, and when we offered Confession on Wednesday nights in Lent, people LINED UP to receive the sacrament. Why this renaissance? There's yer story.

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