God's influencers

Publish date 25-05-2023

by Flaminia Morandi

In Germany there is talk of a professional register for digital influencers. Proposal difficult to materialize like all matters concerning a legal reorganization of the world of the network, starting with "copyright". Born with the invention of the press to protect authors and publishers, today they are quietly bypassed, difficult to trace in the endless platforms of new media. It has not yet been fully understood how to protect the paternity of TV formats, which in the meantime the dominant medium is no longer TV, now only seen by over-70s on the verge of extinction, but digital social networks where influencers are rampant. As we know by heart, they are personalities who, through social media, are capable of directing the economic choices of consumers, especially the very young. Behind every influencer there is always a marketing strategy, even if disguised as a philosophy of life or as human-psychological advice to live better.

For Christian pedagogy, this is the classic "challenge" that agitates and compulsively studies response strategies that can make the path proposed by Jesus attractive for young people. So here is the frantic search for alternative influencers, life models to propose, examples of mirrored Christian lives of which it is never certain that they are mirrored one hundred percent, unless they are true martyrs blown up during a liturgy or slaughtered like the Trappist monks of Tibhirine in Algeria. Who, as dead, cannot speak except with their death. Yes, bright. But silent.

But no, some Christian educators want people who talk and possibly be famous. So that young people are attracted by the fact that one can be famous in this degenerate world even if one is a Christian. Yet, the communication style of Jesus turns out to be the opposite. He loses his temper when he smells idolatry. His public life recounted by Luke opens with Peter's mother-in-law's recovery from fever in the house of Capernaum where, a few chapters later, we will understand what fever it was: the fever of "who is the greatest" that makes us devour with each other, fever whose tachipirina is only a silent life of service. And it ends with the figure of her "teacher": an old widow who throws into the temple treasury what she needed to survive. In the Gospels the demons who want to publicize that Jesus is the son of God are demons, and every time he silences them; to Peter, when he tries to do the same, he calls him a demon. Jesus refuses to use signs of power. He never misses an opportunity to tell us, devourers of sensationalism, that the real miracles are those that are not seen. That the only influencers we should get on a desk with a microphone in front of them are the blind, the crippled, the street poor, to tell their lives rejected and blessed.

Flaminia Morandi

NP Febbraio 2023

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