Tag Archives: Facebook


For the past few months I’ve been writing about identity and perspective. My primary goal during this process has been to answer the following question:

Along the way, I’ve considered various delusions that we humans believe about ourselves and each other … and I’ve found many of these within myself. It’s been a pretty worthwhile experience, but recently I was amazed by a passage from the Hebrew prophecy found in Isaiah. It is perhaps the most profound answer to my question.

Reading Isaiah 44:13-20 is a humbling experience. Here is an excerpt:

This passage is a profound metaphor for the lies that we tell ourselves.

The man in the story worships something that is temporary, a wooden idol. Something that he himself created. Alone in his own world, the man has convinced himself that he is in the presence of greatness. This thing then becomes the object of his worship.

I love the first line, “No one recalls.” It reminds the reader that the man in the story has not been afforded the same perspective that makes his delusion obvious.

Then I wonder, how many lies have we told ourselves? The first that comes to mind is my Facebook page. When I look at it, do I not believe what I see? In my heart, I know that I am more complex than this one page, but on a daily basis I put that knowledge aside and believe the lie that I have created for myself and others. I literally give of my time and energy to supporting that “Facebook me” that sustains this limited identity.

We humans create many amazing things. We also often like to convince other people that these things are important … sometimes we even convince ourselves. Then we unwittingly begin, ever so slowly, to sacrifice our “selves” to the thing that we have created. Some major examples that come to mind are empires, corporations, religions, and nations. Each one of these entities is created and buttressed by the energy of human work, but many still believe that their individual lives are less important than the entity being sustained.

To these we give our time, our money, our creativity, and our lives.

Finally, it seems that the difficulty of my favorite question is that it inserts doubt into our enlightenment notions of human reason. As humans, we often employ our own reason to save ourselves from delusion. This endeavor, I believe, has had limited success. This is because I have found that every such human attempt toward salvation or enlightenment (even this blog) can itself become a new object of worship and delusion. So here is my desire: To find those humans who are pointing their lives toward something that is not made, discovered or achieved by men. That, to me, is the Christian walk. It is not to sustain a structure or to defend an ideology. It is to follow a path that no human could (or would) have ever devised.

As I mentioned earlier, the oposite of delusion is perspective. Without something outside of the human experience, we will never see ourselves properly and we will be perennially stuck like gerbils on an exercise wheel. Perspective allows us to first see the wheel (the ideology, culture, addiction) that was created by men and then to leave the wheel entirely. This is the beginning of a journey of faith.

Many people would say that, as a Christian, I fit the description of the deluded man I described above. They say that I worship something that has been created by men … not dissimilar from the example in Isaiah 44. They say that the Bible is simply paper and ink and that I’m defending an idol. I can’t say that they’re wrong and I’m right. I can only say that the more I search for even a glimpse of eternal perspective the more I am drawn back to my Christian faith. This faith is not easy, or white, or  American, or something for which I feel personally responsible.

It is difficult and uncertain and leads me to constantly see myself in a new light.

At this point, that’s the only conclusion I can think to give this post. I will continue to interrogate my delusions and I hope to continue to learn more about my perspective on myself and others. All the while, I’ll be personally seeking the Truth that opens my eyes to the man-made objects that I continue to worship each day. Giving them up may seem irrational, but they are the exercise wheel and I would like to soon step off.


This post is a part of my “Savage Faces, Human Places” series that I’m putting together in my section on Power.

Moses to Zuckerberg: A Position of Power

Mark Zuckerberg is the Robert Moses of the twenty-first century. Never elected, powerful beyond imagination. Not from the right family, but more influential. Not a member of Phoenix, but extremely selective. Not in the game, but driven to rewrite its rules. Robert Moses experienced similar social exclusion at Yale. Similar to Zuckerberg, this exclusion drove him. On Moses, Caro writes,

“Alongside the massive cathedrals of Yale’s traditions, buttressed by prejudice and pride, Bob Moses had erected his own small but sturdy structure. ‘In our little world…,” Bacon was to say, “he made himself a position of power.’ 

In light of Moses’ later career, that was the key point” (Caro, 47).

From his Ivy League education, Zuckerberg didn’t look to New York for power, that traditional American icon. The internet and computers were dramatically reshaping global influence in Silicon Valley.

In grand New York, Moses planned and completed massive public works projects to connect the boroughs and the region while Zuckerberg, from a garage in the valley, constructed a virtual bridge to connect the entire world. Through their efforts, these two men shaped the world that we inhabit today.

Facebook’s Twitter description states, “Giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” Essentially they want to democratize the world, to end exclusivity. Moses also worked to make the city more accessible for the average American (as long as they could afford a car) and used his power to force roads through old-money estates in Long Island and elsewhere.

Someone from a powerful, WASP background wouldn’t work to undermine regional power. But neither of these men had much to loose. Moses was a Jew, didn’t know how to drive a car and spent his life building roads, bridges and tunnels. Zuckerberg (also of Jewish descent) is a socially awkward computer hacker who made billions connecting “friends” around the world.

Zuckerberg and Moses both lived life on the margins of traditional power.  As a result, they both developed a deep understanding of power. And when they realized that power wouldn’t engage them as equals … they turned it on its head. Both knew they could not win at the old game, both knew that the game had a weakness, and both were smart and industrious enough to exploit it.

Both created new worlds and situated themselves comfortable in the center.