Internet Ego Inflation

1/4/2009

From: Chris

Subject: Internet ego inflation and self-appointed internet “experts”—in the area of college football—and every other topic, INCLUDING CHRISTIANITY AND “CHURCH LIFE” AND “HOUSE CHURCH”

Saw an interesting segment today on ESPN about the current state of college recruiting…One of the big, big things that recruits now have to battle—and with most of them having huge egos available for stroking, they are highly susceptible to it—are all these so-called, self proclaimed “experts” who are nothing more than simple sports enthusiasts who run “Top 50” or “Top 100” internet blogs and web sites of college prospects and sites they run with their own opinions. There are TONS of them. And 99% of them have absolutely no access to the athletes they rank nor the schools those athletes are going to or are thinking about going to, their scores, SATs, GPAs…nothing. Most have zero college football, coaching or recruiting experience.

One recruit’s dad (QB Stephen Garcia, who went to South Carolina) said his son was definitely influenced by it all. His dad asked his son, “What do you think all these blogs and web sites mean?” Stephen said, “I think it shows a lot of support for me.” His dad (wisely) retorted, “No it doesn’t. This could be nothing more than 5 people out there posting on these blogs all these comments and wanting to introduce you to so and so and help you ‘succeed’ and think you are so ‘good’, etc…It doesn’t mean anything.” Garcia was just one example.

The panelists, made up of some real college recruiting experts, say now-a-days, with all the extra media associated with it all (most of it internet-based and totally amateur), it’s extremely hard to sort out and almost always influences the athletes at least in perspective and false ego-building, if not in some of their actual decisions. One panelist stated, “If someone wants to keep a Top 100 list of the top 100 dentists in the country and he’s not even a dentist himself…he can certainly do that.” Stephen Garcia came from a family of brothers, two of whom went to HARVARD…so these are not “dumb people” by any stretch. But “smart” people are definitely taken in by this stuff (most of them susceptible on both sides because they WANT TO BE SOMEBODY AND TO FEEL IMPORTANT OR BE VIEWED AS AN “EXPERT” was how this whole sports panel conversation got started in the first place).

Just another perspective on self-proclaimed internet “experts” functioning in another “area of life” where the same phenomena is taking place and is actually harming a number of people and influencing some to make bad choices.

How much more essential is it to realize the existence of these self-proclaimed experts on Jesus, and Church, and evaluating others—those who have accomplished and are experiencing nothing REAL, but still shamelessly pontificating on websites and in books—most, it turns out with nothing meaningful in their REAL life at home and in the church except their arm-chair quarterbacking, critiques of others, and make-believe expertise. What REALLY happens in their home and in their daily world is far more important than whether they can spin a good website or book or forum entry. Right?

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