In the beginning was the video/ images/ Word . . .

What would be the best way for me to convince you that I am currently writing this article from planet Mars, your options are:

a- just say it, I trust your word

b- send a “Marfie” (selfie image taken on planet Mars)

c- give me a video call (i would see, hear and then believe)

For this episode, lets play “Sherlock Holmes” and his science of deduction to the option b 🙂

Lets say, i do send you a Marfie , will you really believe me then? How would you verify the authencity of the Marfie sent? Can i not photoshop the image as many do? Hmm . . .

Lets ask Facebook, how do they examine images?

Facebook users are uploading 35 crores new photos each day, i.e each of Facebook’s 150 crores users are uploading an average of 217 photos a piece every day.

But the examining process is actually low-tech .When a request is submitted, facebook employees on the company’s safety and legal teams look at the image that’s been flagged, reviewing each one individually, and evaluating the public interest and newsworthiness of each message .Each company makes its own rules based on how it wants to shape its community. Facebook and Instagram, for example, have rules against nudity in photos. Twitter has no such rules .

It may seem incomprehensible to many users that in an age of algorithms and high technology, Twitter would remove offensive images by hand rather than by automation. Twitter and other companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Google all have and use an automated technology that lets them identify and flag images based on certain criteria.But they use that software technology as a secondary filter not the primary one. The primary filter is a team of men whose conscience is guided by the companys agenda.

My dear students, Its clear what instagram,facebook, watsapp, and other modes of social media are communicating, and what agenda rules guide them.

But we as disciples of Lord Jesus are called to communicate Truth (read as Jesus in Jn14:6). We as a UESI family, are called to transform the student community to impact university campuses. Thats our Lords agenda through UESI.And thats our agenda too.

But then we have a tough challenge infront!! As Ravi Zacharias puts it-”How do you reach out to a generation that listens with its eyes and thinks with its feelings.We are intended to see through the eye with the conscience. But now we see with the eye devoid of a conscience”.

The Visual media has embezzled todays generation with images.

In this modern media age there is a constant bombardment of images, many times devoid of context, and it is imperative that we do more than just passively absorb them without a filter.

I conclude by suggesting atleast two levels of filters at which to examine our use of visuals both in receiving and sending communication:

i) first filter every time would be my conscience (guided by God’s word) not just my eyes.Everything that appeals my eye but sears my concience is not communicating truth.

ii) second filter would be the question: is this going to shape me/the community as God intends to, or is it serving someone else’s agenda.
So lets continue to play the detective “Sherlock” in this world of Images and may God grant us the wisdom and understanding to know and apply the rules of Gods Word to communicate truth(Jesus) and nothing but the truth(Jesus) to todays generation.

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” . . . John17:17

Binu Thomas is staff worker of UESI Odisha based in Bhubaneshwar

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