Digital Technology: Its Use and Abuse

  “Vernon can also repair most things from putting up fences to doing some work on the family’s 1922 Ford Model T.  Jason’s skills lean heavily towards video games and creating the occasional short film for YouTube.  Although he is in decent enough physical condition, Jason would quickly wilt if he had to toss hay bales or shovel manure like Vernon does on a regular basis.

  “Speaking of work, Vernon can go for weeks and months and not expect a compliment.  Jason’s fragile ego (largely a product of the times) demands constant stroking.  Who is better equipped to deal with real life?

  “Vern lives on little and does so without complaint.  He truly appreciates any small gift or modest financial bonus.  Jason can’t go more than a day or two without spending money (sometimes earned by his parents) on overpriced clothes, $4 lattes, and the latest techno-gadget.  This jaded young man has a narcissistic sense of entitlement that is dangerous for someone who is still unemployed after finishing school with nearly $20,000 in student loans and credit card debts.

  “Married for less than a year, Vernon and his wife Ida are expecting their first child.  In his spare time, Vern is making the baby’s cradle and some other simple, sturdy furniture.  Aside from being able to design a flashy-looking web site, Jason’s practical skills are all but non-existent.

  “We’ll give Jason the clear edge on sophistication and worldliness.  In addition to his dexterity with modern electronics, Jason has rubbed shoulders with people from dozens of different cultures, and he has traveled to Europe and Mexico.

  “Vernon has ventured no farther than 100 miles from his home, and that was for a short honeymoon in Omaha.  His contact with ‘outsiders’ has been limited to the well-dressed salesman from St. Louis who passed through town and the hobo who did a day’s work on the farm.

  “The current economic slump combined with the mass exportation of tech jobs to India has crushed Jason’s hopes of finding work in his chosen field.  He picks up some sporadic freelance assignments, but Jason’s ego and inability to understand the times have prevented him from considering other options.  He refuses to seek low-wage labor as a way to make an honest dollar until something better opens up, and his indulgent parents refuse to put any pressure on their only child.

  “With two brothers and three sisters in his family, Vernon knows that Mom and Dad can’t and won’t support him.  He helps out on the farm and squeezes in other jobs as they can be found during the Great Depression.  His older brother Chester – a seventh-grade dropout – sometimes has carpentry work for Vern.

  “Despite his limited schooling, Chester can figure out and bid on jobs with nothing more than his brain, a tape measure, a pencil, and a piece of paper.  Where would 21st-Century college grad Jason be without a calculator?

  “Meat was a precious commodity in the ‘dirty thirties,’ and Vernon can take three bullets and his single-shot Stevens .22 rifle and bring home an equal number of squirrels or rabbits.  Sometimes a sitting pheasant also ends up on the dinner table.  The gun is Vernon’s prized possession.

  “Jason has been conditioned and brainwashed to view gun ownership negatively.  That doesn’t prevent him from spending numerous hours shooting hordes of zombies, ninjas, mutants, and assorted other make-believe villains on video games that are long on fantasy and have absolutely nothing to do with the reality of firearms usage.

  “If you needed help or had to hire a reliable worker, would the ‘educated’ modern techie or the rural high school dropout be your choice?  In a time of economic decline and instability, the practical mindset and skills of the past could easily trump a knowledge of the latest gadgets and electronic toys.”

  We certainly need techies in this modern age.  Computers are very useful, and techies are essential.  But the point of the article above is clear: computer knowledge is just one set of skills, and does not make a young person smarter than either those who have other skills instead, or those of past generations who knew nothing about computers but a whole lot about the real world.

Conclusion

  As Christians, we may certainly make use of computers, the internet, mobile phones, and other instruments of the high-tech revolution.  They can be very useful, when used wisely.  But wisdom in using them is greatly lacking amongst most people, including professing Christians.  They have their place, but the believer needs to be very careful, and greatly limit their use.

  Let the Lord’s people obey the Scripture in 1 Cor.7:29-31: using, but not abusing, the legitimate things of the world!  Keep all things in proper balance and perspective, redeem the time, and let nothing encroach on, and thereby take away from, the most important things: daily private prayer and Bible study, family worship, the reading of sound Christian literature, time spent in fellowship with the saints, and in the service of the Lord.

Shaun Willcock is a minister, author and researcher.  He runs Bible Based Ministries.  This pamphlet was first published in 2003, revised and updated in 2014, and again in 2017 to keep up with changes in digital technology.  For other pamphlets (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, articles, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below.  If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, please send your details.

ENDNOTES:


[1] The Witness, June 8, 2010.  Article: “Is the Internet Ruining Our Lives?” www.witness.co.za.

 

 

[2] Digital Cocaine: a Journey Toward iBalance (DVD), by Brad Huddleston.  Christian Art Media, Vereeniging, South Africa, 2015.

 

 

[3]. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13880_3-20047703-68.html

 

 

[4]. https://www.nikcub.com/posts/logging-out-of-facebook-is-not-enough/

 

 

[5]. https://www.nikcub.com/posts/facebook-fixes-logout-issue-explains-cookies/

 

 

[6]. The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, March 2010, pg.11.  Published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.  www.MIAtoday.com

 

 

[7]. The Witness, June 8, 2010.  Article: “Is the Internet Ruining Our Lives?” www.witness.co.za

 

 

[8]. The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor, March 2010, pgs.11-12.

 

 

[9] Digital Cocaine: a Journey Toward iBalance (DVD), by Brad Huddleston.  Christian Art Media, Vereeniging, South Africa, 2015.

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