There I was, in the American Airlines club, awaiting a flight taking us from one event of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians to another, hurrying to complete one of these Musings. As I opened my computer, up popped a window telling me where I was and asking if I wanted to sign in. Is it creepy or cool that they knew where I was?
My life is enriched by technology. Super communication has tremendous benefits. I love ordering something online and it showing up two days later at my door. I appreciate getting back to work quickly when a computer technician shares my screen online, instantaneously pinpointing and solving a problem I’m having. I love staying in touch with overseas friends in real time.
At the same time, these benefits come with side effects. Search online for a rug and for the next few days every time you visit a website a rug ad greets you. Go to a store’s website and get special offers from them over the next few days. You’ve surely had similar experiences. Our privacy is certainly being eroded We take it for granted that government agencies can spy on us anytime they wish and suspect that the law allows them to do so more easily than we would like.
Walt Disney most likely had no idea how much of a, “small, small world,’ we would occupy within decades of his theme park opening. Not only can we instantly be in touch around the globe but future generations will be able to access our lives in unprecedented ways
When we read correspondence between John and Abigail Adams or diary entries by those who lived through the Civil War, we gain not only historical information but human insights. Yet, these individuals or their children had the option of burning any documents that they did not want eyes other than their own to see.
Have you ever thrown away unflattering or embarrassing photos? I have. Digital photos don’t disappear as easily and certainly items posted impulsively or immaturely on social media cannot be eliminated when wiser sentiments prevail. Being able to get a fresh start in life is increasingly becoming harder. Atonement, meaning being able to wipe away a past we consider reprehensible and start again is a vital part of a Bible-based world view. It has saved many a life. Today’s techno-secular atmosphere makes this harder. We walk around like Pigpen in the Charlie Brown cartoons, the aura of dirt hanging over his head replaced by the detritus of our pasts hanging over ours.
There’s a bit of both creepy and cool, a Pandora’s box and a treasure chest in what man has created. Can we be trusted to use it wisely?