Meditation on the Danger of Computer Unreality

I think that there are good reasons to make biblical resolutions as Christians. I think it is kind of like the idea in Scripture of making vows and keeping them (Psalm 76:11). But like so much that is good and helpful, it can be turned for evil and abused, as in the form of legalism. However I trust that we are not all reactionists.

I know that if I am left to myself I will make a mess of my life, I don’t presume to think I have the power to keep vows that I make. My trust is in God to keep me (Jeremiah 32:40) and to work in me what pleases Him (Hebrews 13:21). I believe that one small means that God has ordained to keep me is the making of vows. And so with reliance on God I make them… I hope that you find these helpful and that they direct you to other facets of your life where vows may be needed.

I was inspired and have gotten much of this material from another godly man who’s works I have been reading.

1) The hook of constant curiosity. P.C’s offer a huge possibility for discovery. Even the basic environment of Windows can consume hours and days and weeks of inquisitive punching and experimenting. Color schemes, layouts, screen-savers, short-cuts, icons, file-managing, calculators, clocks, calendars, etc. Then there are the endless software applications consuming weeks of your time as they lure you into their details. All this is very deceptive, giving the illusion of power and effectiveness, but leaving you with a feeling of emptiness and nervousness at the end of the day.

RESOLUTION: I will strictly limit my experimental time in the computer and devote myself more to the truth than to technique.

2) The empty world of virtual (un)reality. How sad to see brilliant, creative people pouring hours and days of their lives into creating cities and armies and adventures that have no connection with reality. We have one life to live. All our powers are given to us by the REAL God for the REAL world leading to a REAL heaven and REAL hell.

RESOLUTION: I will spend my constructive, creative energy not in the unreality of “virtual reality” but in the reality of the real world.

3) “Personal” relations with PC. Like no other invention, the personal computer comes closest to being like a person. You can play games with it. There are programs that will dialogue with you about your personality. It will talk to you. It will always be there for you. It is smarter than your dog. The great danger here is that we really become comfortable with this manageable electronic “person,” and gradually drift away from the unpredictable, frustrating, sometimes painful dealings with humans persons.

RESOLUTION: I will not replace the risk of personal relationships with impersonal electronic safety.

4) The risk of tryst “Tryst \‘trist\ noun: An agreement (as between lovers) to meet.” Sexual affairs begin in private time together, extended conversation, and the sharing of soul. It can now be done in the absolute seclusion of your private email screen name. It can be immediate and “live,” or delayed and “recorded.” You can think that “it’s just nothing”—until she shows up in town.

RESOLUTION: I will not cultivate a one-on-one relationship with a person of the opposite sex other than my spouse. If I am single I will not cultivate such a relationship with another person’s spouse.

5) PC Porn. More insidious that X-rated videos, we can now not only watch but join the perversity in the privacy of our own den. It kills the spirit. It drives God away. It depersonalizes women. It quenches prayer. It blanks out the Bible. It cheapens the soul. It destroys spiritual power. It defiles everything.

RESOLUTION: I will never open any program for sexual stimulation nor purchase or download anything pornographic.

Computers and the net and email are remarkable gifts from God. Yes, they are threats to our schedules, hearts and families- just like the telephone, and television and radio. All God’s gifts can be made idols and even weapons of rebellion against the Giver. But they need not be. Instead we should say with the Psalmist, “What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me?” (Psalm 116:12)

  4 comments for “Meditation on the Danger of Computer Unreality

  1. April 12, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Tyrell

    Excellent – and most helpful.
    I appreciate your blogs – most helpful.
    Do keep it up as a blessing to the wider church

    Roland eskinazi (Cape Town)

    • tyrellh
      April 12, 2010 at 9:50 am

      Hi Roland

      Thanks for the encouragement.
      Trust all is well down in CT?

      Lord bless
      Tyrell

  2. Brett
    April 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Good points Tye. I too have found ‘computer time’ can be an asset and benefit, but as soon as it gains control over our time leaves only a sense of utter waste. Even seemingly innocent time spent can leave a sense of emptiness if it wasn’t directed to some purpose. Or if it replaces real life. Remember about 12 years back I used to joke that I was suffering from a disease called apathy? Guess, in hindsight, the cause was electronic. It appeared easier than livin in the real world. But wasn’t.

    It’s useful to have a list of things to do instead. Some you have already implied, like making contact with people, friends or family. Spending time with God in prayer or Bible reading. Taking a nature walk. Finding out who needs a helping hand. As you mentioned the risks are higher. As are the rewards.

    • tyrellh
      April 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks for the response Brett. I think the disease was actually called ‘apathitis’ if I remember correctly 😛

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