Why Our Culture is Nuts

This past weekend I drove to Nacogdoches, TX for a wedding.  Because I’m completely insane,* I drove there on Saturday and back on Sunday.  That means I spent about 16 out of 33 hours in the car.  Crazy, I tell you.

*or cheap…I only wanted to pay for one night in a hotel.

Now the thing you need to know about Nacogdoches is that it’s in the middle of freaking nowhere.  In East Texas.  The only other time I’ve been there was for another wedding three years ago and I was with a car full of people, two of whom grew up there.

See? Middle of nowhere...

Obviously, that was not the case this time.  This time I was by myself and coming from the opposite direction.  Thankfully, this time I have an iPhone.  And a GPS app.  Hooray, technology!

Right about the time the very polite voice on my phone told me to turn right onto TX-315 in the middle of nowhere East Texas, however, I realized that what I was doing was completely insane.  An inanimate object was telling me what to do and I was listening!!!  I didn’t have a map in my car and I hadn’t looked at a map before I left.  I hadn’t even gotten directions from Google maps just so I would have a basic idea of where I was going.  Rather, I put my complete trust in an object that I don’t even really understand.

Now, obviously, this is something we all do every day.  We trust that our furniture will hold us up, that our alarm clocks will go off, that our cars will start.  It just really struck me as I was driving that we are so quick to put our trust in things, but we are horrible at trusting people, even in things they are supposed to be experts on.

I see it all over the place.  People don’t trust that something has happened unless they read about it or see pictures for themselves.  Students don’t believe that teachers actually know more than they do.  Christians don’t trust that their pastors actually study the Bible and are seeking the Lord’s will for their churches.  Patients second guess their doctors because of something they read on WebMD.

I know that there are reasons we as a culture have become jaded and cynical, I get that.  There are deceivers and manipulators out there and we should think critically about information that is presented to us.  There is a healthy amount of questioning authority that should be done; I just think that we’ve gone so far beyond healthy that authority has ceased to mean anything.  Why should I believe what the mechanic/contractor/doctor/pastor says, when I can just look it up on the internet for myself?  I’m just as smart and capable as they are.

Except, of course, I’m not.  I don’t care how many YouTube videos I watch or blog tutorials I read, I will never be able to fix my car more effectively than the trained mechanic down the street.  It seems to me that it is the height of arrogance to assume that just because the information is out there we can become masters of anything in a matter of hours.

But that’s pretty much what our culture has become – individualistic instant gratification.  There’s no reason for me to wait for an expert if I can do something myself.  We trust “the cloud” more than the guy next door.  See?  Our culture is totally nuts!

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  1. Dad

     /  August 1, 2011

    I couldn’t agree more!

  1. Why I Think I Might Have Multiple Personalities « Why I…

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  • A collection of ramblings and musings on Jesus, life, education, family, and anything else that pops into my head.

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