二○二○年八月八日／九日 Click here for English version
電影《真人 Show》（The Truman Show）講述一間商業廣播公司，收養了一個剛出生的孤兒，並把他成長的過程，作 24 小時直播。這位「主角」不知自己生活上的一舉一動被千萬人「追隨」著；他也不知道自己身處的城市原來是搭建出來的大片場；他更不知道在他生命中所有的重要人物，包括父母、妻子、好友等，都全是專業演員在扮演角色！故事發展到最後，主角終於識破了這場「騙局」，他排除萬難，勇敢地走出面前的「虛擬現實」，迎向那未知的真實世界。
Virtual vs Reality
Rev Raymond Chan
The film "The Truman Show" is the story of an orphan adopted since birth by a commercial broadcaster. The orphan grows up living an ordinary life that takes place on a large set populated by actors for a 24-hour live television show about him. His every move is captured on camera and "followed" by a large audience. But he knows nothing about the show, or that the most important people in his life – his parents, wife and good friends – are all professional actors! Eventually, he discovers the truth and decides to escape from virtual reality. Against all odds, he takes on a bold journey towards an uncertain, real world.
A 1998 production, the film did not see smart phones nor social media software at that time and the Internet was just becoming popular. Nevertheless, with all the technological advances in the 20 years since, the far-fetched storyline is very much a reality today. For instance, it is seen in the film that the everyday life of the protagonist is being shown to the world. In social media today, trivial episodes of everyday life are also the most popular subject. The uploads can easily attract tens of thousands of people around the world to "follow."
Why is the Internet world and social media so hard to resist? I believe it is due to the pleasure that people get in the process. Just think, when many people follow your social media uploads, you feel accepted. When people "like" your videos, you feel your talent is recognized. And when you build an online community or chat group with some like-minded people, you think you are not alone. Now there is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps there is a need for such things. But if you put your emotions in virtual reality, sharing your heart with "friends" and "followers" you have never met, I am afraid that may not be a wise choice.
Towards the end of the film, the protagonist prepares to leave the set in which he grew up for the real world. At that moment, the film producer tells him that the reality outside is equally full of lies and hypocrisy and is in no way better than the virtual reality he created. We agree that what we feel in the real world may not be any better than our feelings in the virtual world. In this real world, many people are rejected, denied, and they feel lonely. But as Christians, we need to remember that the Heavenly Father has accepted us – not because of the good things in our life, but because we are His people. And as the people of God, we are sent into the world to testify for Him. We are a royal priesthood. We are "certified" by Him. We are never alone on the journey of our Christian faith. On the path of sanctification, believers are parts of the body in the name of Christ. We walk with multitudes of brothers and sisters (with names, not just accounts) together.