Rebecca Black, the internet and why we should care more

“Hey do you remember Rebecca Black?”

“Who?”

“Rebecca Black, she was that kid who released a song on the internet about Saturday or choosing a seat or something?”

“mmm nah, doesn’t ring a bell”

“You know, it sounded a bit like that Justin Bieber song?”

“Who’s Justin Bieber”?

“You know he released that song that sounded just like that Rebecca Black song about

Wednesdays or something, he had that guy method man rap on it”

“Oh yeah!! But I think that was Ludicrous”

“Yep, it was ridiculous alright”


Maybe this is a conversation you and I will have in a few years but right now Rebecca Black is all up in our faces. Apart from a few health and safety concerns with sitting in the back seat of a car, seatbelt issues and underage driving (seriously what age is that kid in the video), I don’t really have a problem with the song. It’s pretty catchy and I have even found myself humming it, in my head, not out loud, eh, ahem.

But the nature of the internet is such that things come and go and there are things we argue (I mean discuss) about for a while as if they will decide the fate of humanity, but then… nothing.

Which is both a good and a bad thing.

Rob Bell is still spreading his message of Love Wins but even John Piper isn’t tweeting about it anymore. I haven’t heard anything about Japan in a while and statistics show that  Rebecca Black is now only annoying to 50% of the world’s population.

Which got me thinking? What things in my life do I only care about for a while?

About three years ago my wife showed me a documentary called Invisible Children. It was about a man called Joseph Kony who has kidnapped thousands of children and forced them to fight in his rebel army, the LRA. It was moving and hard to watch. It inspired us to want to get involved. So we did. We walked through the streets of Dublin with hundreds of other kids to highlight the children being abducted. We slept under the stars in a field in Dublin to stand with the abducted children. I even went to London for a couple months to intern with them. Then when I came home we ran some screenings for schools and Uni’s.

When we walked through Dublin with people staring at us and asking what the heck we were doing it was thrilling. When we slept under the stars it was, well, cold but also inthralling. When I worked directly with Invisible Children it was life changing.

But then something changed.

Where before I would check the weekly updates on the situation in the Congo to keep uptodate and informed, now I was watching music videos about which mode of transport to choose to travel to school.

Invisible Children dropped off my radar.

Now there were some good reasons such as, I got married and I moved in with a girl (my wife, just to save confusion).

But this raises a question.

Did I only care about the plight of child soldiers when it made me feel good? Was I really thinking about the children at all?

Which raises another question.

What else in my life do I only care about when it is making me feel good?

My marriage? writing? working with xxxchurch? my family and friends? Jesus?

The truth is, the things that make us feel great, that make us feel glad to be a person, alive and breathing, that we care deeply about are exactly the things that require us to work at.

My marriage requires me to make quality time with my wife, the feeling of creating a community and helping people with my writing needs me to get up early everyday and actually sit down and write. Having a fulfilling relationship with my family and friends requires me to take the initiative and ask them how they are doing.

What is it that you care about? What is it that inspres you to take action and live a certain way?

Maybe it is a worthy cause. Maybe it is your job. Maybe it is Jesus?

Whatever it is, my hope for you is that it doesn’t become just next weeks twitter trend.

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