Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A first

I did something interesting last night and I can honestly say it was a first.  I really enjoy "firsts." First dates, first listens to new songs, etc. I just like firsts.
I was trolling Twitter for nothing and everything all at once and I saw that a past contestant from So You Think You Can Dance was having some sort of Wednesday night prayer group online. So I click the link. Turns out, it's a video chat where he lets people type in prayer requests and he and his friends pray for the needs of his fans. That's fine and all and I'm in full support of someone doing something like this. It's different, it's interesting and it's accessible. But I found myself being less interested in the praying and more interested in everything else that was going on.
Here you had people who were there for so many different reasons. Some were actually there for prayer, but some were there to tell him they loved him. Some were there to ask for him to follow them on Twitter. Some were there just to see his face and comment how pretty his eyes were. While I'm sure all of that is very flattering for a past dance show contestant/fledgling Canadian pop star to hear, it wasn't the reason for the chat. It was interesting to me to watch him for that half hour try to bring things back to the praying.
At one point, things had gotten so far off track that I was worried the poor boy was going to lose interest. I could see the boredom in his eyes because all these girls were gushing about him and not sending in their prayer requests. So, being a student of pop culture communication, I decided to throw my hat in the ring and try to bring things back. I typed in, "My friends and I started an online magazine about creative culture because we were tired of the tabloid nonesense in every publication. It's tough and we could use the prayer."
So he reads what I typed in out loud, everyone in the room with him comments about how cool that is that we started that (thank you very much by the way) and they prayed for the magazine, and by doing so, brought the session back into focus.
I just thought the entire thing was so interesting. Here you have this person that is someone of a demi-celebrity within the dance world who takes half an hour each Wednesday night to pray with/for his fans and what they need, all the while fielding compliments about how hot he is. The juxtaposition was just too fascinating to me. Will I tune back in next week? I just might because it's not every day you get to see the intersection of faith and celebrity play itself out in a digital battle of sorts. Regardless of anyone's belief system, it was an interesting exercise in the capabilities of current technology to facilitate the interplay of communication between people from all over the continent.

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