Wednesday, January 30, 2008

An Old Man and New Media

It’s probably to be expected. We do, after all, live in technological times. And Pres Hinkley understood the nature of media better than any of our leaders up to this time.

Still, it makes me chuckle to think of how the news of his death and people’s reactions to it has spread.

I, for example, didn’t hear about it for the first time from the newspaper, nor the TV news. It wasn’t even a phone call. How did I hear? I was on my computer, and an IM window popped up and told me the news. Instantly, I leapt to other websites to confirm. Once I was assured that it was, in fact, true, I jumped back on my Instant Messenger and told everyone that was on my list. By then, most of them already knew. By that time, blogs had already begun to bear the news and the reactions.

My good friend John (of “From the Basement”) found out the news because someone sent it out via a posting!

I’d be willing to bet that if you think back at how you got the news, 9 out of 10 of you didn’t hear it through the “Traditional Media”.

Then, I read this article in the Deseret News about how students in Northern Utah highschools, as well as BYU, dressed in Sunday best for classes last Monday, as a tribute to Pres Hinkley. How did this get organized and spread? Via text messaging on cell phones!

This comes at a time when Elder Ballard (? I believe) speaks to the saints encouraging them to represent the Church and the Gospel well as we blog and participate in forums. To spread the gospel using the new media.

It is a new age.

As a funny aside, when I was in my mission in Honduras, I can remember once talking with a new member who was looking at a flip-chart picture spread of all the general authorities. My companion was saying, “…And this one is now an apostle, and this one is dead, and this one is dead…” We used to joke that the only way we’d hear about any of this is when they’d send out new flip charts!

We’ve come a long way, baby…

Mark Hansen


  1. I got an actual phone call, from my best friend, just minutes after the news broke.

    I'm glad it wasn't a text message.

  2. hehe I have to laugh, because when I heard I did as you did, I went to the blogs. You actually were one of the first I came to, because well, you don't get all preachy or "Thus saith Mark..." and I knew you would know. But you didn't, yet.

    Our daughter called us and I guess we heard before you could post. But here I am a few days later to read your thoughts on the matter, because again, you have an opinion I trust and you're not all "hey, I went to BYU and therefore I am more righteous and learned than you..."

    Not sure if you actually did attend BYU, but thanks for being real.

  3. Thanks so much for your kind words, s'mee! Actually, I can't get holier than thou, because I'm too busy being humbler than thou! :-)

    Oh, oh...

    Now, I'm gonna get struck by lighting...


  4. like that old cowboy song...

    Oh [my] it's hard to be humble...when you're perfect in every way!
    I can't wait to look in the mirror 'cause I get better lookin' each day
    To know me is to love me, I must be a [heck] of a man
    Oh [my] it's hard to be humble, but I'm doin' the best that I can!



Related Posts with Thumbnails