In a previous post, I acknowledged arguments that some Christians give in opposition to new technology (Click here). In that post, I elucidate a double standard on technology and dismantle each argument. It seems that in the cross-hairs of some resides the cell phone, ebooks, social networking and the internet. Even though I’m no luddite, I do understand the risks and have concerns. When wisdom, knowledge and priorities are not grounded, there is real abuse and hurt. There are at least four major concern categories when discussing novel technology: deception, security, health and social issues.
Immorality and deceptive content.
As technology advances, it gains greater capabilities to give much more power to those who uses and design them. Much harm can be done by the promotion of immorality – this is near the top of my concerns. Immorality abounds, if one is tempted by it, there are at least two steps that need to be taken, first are internet filters – thus filter out undesired content. The second is accountability. If these are not options and if there are real issues, refraining from its use is the best option.
Because of the free and organic nature of some technology, anyone can upload content online. Content may be true or untrue. One has to be discerning, knowledgeable and wise. We need to discern legitimate sources, understand primary sources and learn proper methods of research. This is not a proposition for isolation, but rather encouragement for growth in knowledge, wisdom and discernment. As we become more sensitive to good and proper thinking skills, and grounding, we will be less likely to fall into the trap of deceptive information.
Security and privacy are also great concerns. From those who are just nosy, to the malicious activities of thieves and hackers, to the government intrusion and control – all cause unease. Even though it sounds simplistic, it is true – the best measures one can take is being careful. Being circumspect what gets posted online and what links you press is essential. The use of diverse, but strong passwords, proper software updates along with security software, are all essential.
I can think of a number of health concerns that can be caused by the abuse of some contemporary technology. This list includes possible eye issues, addiction, radiation, body poster issues and exacerbation of carpal tunnel syndrome. Case in point, here’s a story of a man texting his girlfriend too much and caused problems for his eyes.
The social aspect can take on many different forms. First, many try to keep up with the rest of society. They want the latest and greatest. It becomes a tool for the feeling of affluence, this mentality is the cause of much money wasted. The entitlement mentality is encouraged – making one forget that it’s just a want, not a need.
Along with money waster, there is a time wasting component. Some can get almost addicted to pieces of technology which leads to dependence and much wasted time.
Lastly, the lack of true human interaction can lead to loneliness – even with social networking. Sometimes we need to get out and be with people. This will decrease one’s dependence on a device.
The final focus
As a follower of Christ, we want to be concerned about all of these things. We want to shun immorality, deception, causing others to stumble by what we post or write, and be wise with the body that God gave us. Concerns with most of theses issues are not just isolated with digital technology, even old paper and print technology are susceptible to this as well. But beyond that, what is our focus? Is it to keep up with the latest and greatest? Is it to waste money and time? What about our calling? What about the work of the Kingdom?
Can you think of any other real concerns? How can we use technology to have a greater impact on others?