A major evangelical website recently reviewed a new book on the rise of technology in which the review lamented the challenges Christians face when navigating the digital world led by Google, Amazon, and Facebook. It was a helpful review of what seems to be a valuable book. But there was plenty of cyberspace irony. The title of the post was optimized for Google’s search algorithms. The review featured a “buy this book on Amazon” widget. And the website prominently displayed easy-to-link quotes to share on social platforms such as Facebook.
Such is digital life for Christians in the modern age. We have a love-hate relationship with the online realm. Everyone is dependent on technology, but everyone loathes some aspects of it. For example, it seems like every week one of my friends creates a Twitter thread about how he is going to quit Twitter (some for the third or fourth time). And I can’t count how many times I’ve seen an article about “Why I left social media, and how it made my life better” go viral on social media.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstockphotos.com
Imagine overhearing the following conversation:
Company X: “I’d like you to give me access to your personal data (email, birthday, address, etc.), a list of a hundred of your friends, family, and acquaintances, and permission to use that information in whatever way I choose.”
Individual Y: “And what do I get in return?”
Company X: “You get to take a quiz that tells you what Lord of Rings character you are.”
Individual Y: “Sounds like a fair trade.”
You might think that no one would be foolish enough to engage in such an exchange. But I have. And if you use Facebook, chances are you have too. But even if you’ve never taken an online quiz or accepted a game request, your friends may have given away your private information.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/SasinParaksa