A new Pew Research Center study has revealed that Americans have radically changed their opinions on tech companies.
Only 50% of Americans believe tech companies have a positive impact on society, compared to 71% only four years ago. This 21-percentage decrease is of little surprise in the wake of data privacy violations, fake news, and election interference perpetrated by Silicon giants such as Apple, Google, and Facebook.
“For many years, there was an inherent trust in technology companies because of the value their tools and services added to our lives,” said Jason Thacker, creative director and associate research fellow at the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, according to Christianity Today. “But as the data shows, that trust has been broken as the real impact of these tools are being widely felt.”
Meanwhile, churches only had a slightly higher approval rating at 52% of Americans. The study also noted that political affiliation strongly dictated the results with 68% of conservatives and 38% of liberals.
Thacker believes this is a positive direction for people to seriously consider technology consumption.
“As those who believe that all human beings are created in the image of God, Christians bring a unique perspective to these questions that I hope continues. We must not outsource our moral leadership to culture,” he said.
Earlier this year, several evangelical leaders signed a statement of principles speaking on artificial intelligence. “We desire to equip the church to proactively engage the field of AI, rather than responding to these issues after they have already affected our communities,” the statement read.
“One of the most practical ways the church can help lead in this area is to begin addressing these questions in our gatherings, classes, and small groups,” Thacker said. “By simply talking about them in community, we can help our people navigate these issues with wisdom and hope.”
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Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine. She blogs at mikaelamathews.com.