Though the internet, cell phones, social media, etc., can be wonderful tools, they can also dull us. If you are spending hours gazing at some cyber person you do not know and who does not know you, be it as pernicious as pornography or as silly as a sports star, you will lose your heart for the real flesh and blood people around you. Redeem each timely opportunity that the Lord has given you by serving others. Walk wisely by being alert and making the most of every situation the Lord brings across your path.
Why is our nation unraveling at the seams? Why is the social perversion of transgenderism being hoisted on us with missionary zeal wherever we turn? Why is there so much division over politics, race, and morality in our land? Why is so much hatred spewed against Christianity and the church? Why were hundreds of teenagers rioting and ransacking the streets of Chicago Saturday night?
I am a simple man with perhaps a simplistic answer. But I believe it must be attributed in large part to the internet. Has not the internet released the inhibition of mankind’s lust with the fiery fury of hell?
The Pew Research Forum tells us 95% of teenagers have smartphones, and that’s why we’ve become so dumb. Over half of 15-17 year-olds say they use the internet almost constantly, and you have to wonder if the rest are just lying. Clearly, these teenagers are not using it to read, but rather to be on their top sites of YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. As a result, our land is increasingly visually-oriented and instantaneously connected. Or, in other words, insidiously idolatrous.
A generation ago, Neil Postman spoke about about the dangers of television (which almost seems quaint now) in his book entitled Amusing Ourselves to Death. He warned then – and we should warn far more loudly now – of the danger of leaving behind a text-based, reading culture for a visually stimulating one. After all, he reminded us that “amusing” literally means “not thinking.” If anything describes this age, surely it is that we have lost our ability to think clearly.
Yet the waste of mind and time is the opposite of the commands of Scripture. In Ephesians 5:15-16, we read:
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
Wisdom sees where each step leads. Wisdom knows that the multiplied daily decisions people make have a profound impact on their souls. In Ephesians, Paul instructs the church on how to live out the gospel.