♣ Reality versus Virtuality
“Making the best use of the time…” – Ephesians 5:16.
OUT OF ALL leisurely activities, there is no dispute that internet browsing passes time at a phenomenal rate like no other does (unless, of course, you are partial to world online games); hours seems like minutes and just the one hour intended to spend surfing the web easily multiplies four times. The World Wide Web is a great resource, with so much to discover, learn and broaden one’s perspective without having to travel the globe. It certainly has its downside, as with other forms of media, in that it can be destructive as well as productive, depending on its use.
Information technology has significantly advanced, spellbinding the world at large with awe and amazement, but is it not ironic how such ‘progression’ is supposed to enhance communication, but in effect has made us very impersonal to those closest to us? Almost nobody goes anywhere these days without their Smartphone, iPad or Tablet; even when you ask a friend over for dinner, you may as well virtually (pun intended) invite the rest of their family, friends and neighbours, because all they seem to do is talk to others through texts or calls – except you!
You only have to look and observe when you’re out and about shopping to see that nobody is able to cope anymore walking around in a store without being on the phone or texting. I find it amusing these days having to decipher whether or not a person is actually on the phone communicating with someone else, or just happily conversing with themselves. We all remember when Bluetooth was launched on the market – it was intended to drive a vehicle hands free, not just to walk around flashing off your Hi-tech hearing aid! With all these gadgets to aid us while driving, it never ceases to amaze me how people can be so senseless by concentrating on a phone screen rather than being attentive via the windscreen; most road accidents are attributed to text-driving and it is relatively easy to spot reckless drivers from a fair distance; road markings are there for a reason, not to be ignored through certitude.
A society reliant upon and obsessed with the latest technological vogue is almost becoming robotic; humanity’s warmth, as we knew it, is no longer real but virtual; everything is turning synthetic and people love it which is no more than an infatuation with artificiality. Who would have dreamed of the irony, that instead of technology assisting us, we are becoming slaves to it? Where we are meant to think originally, our thinking is done for us and where we are to worship our Creator we worship creation instead – worse still, we enthrone what finite man has created.
All this may sound too serious and implausible, but when it all boils down, where do we stand: does virtuality or reality govern our time? Our time is shorter than we think; the days hasten on at a rate we’ve never known them to and how we invest our time is more serious than we deem; are we redeeming it for the best – as unto the Lord? How productive have the hours been spent on the computer; do we really have much to show in return for it? Is our outlook spiritually more pessimistic or optimistic?
One of the many ideal aspects of the internet is its factual information (when truth is discerned) that is seldom found through our mainstream news media; careful research will lead you to sites that unbiasedly report situations that popular cable news channels opt to ignore. Nevertheless, as Christians we must always take into account, particularly with secularised media, the prevailing unbiblical perspective that offers no substantial hope. Excess amounts of time absorbed in the atrocities and horrors around the world are bound to make one’s spirits droop. As much as we frequently view world affairs, we ought to look twice as much through the lens of God’s Word, for there we shall find balance and solidity, ready to give a persuasive reason to others as to the faith in which we stand.
Careful research will first and foremost require a wise determination as to what will be of benefit. There is so much out there to know (and much we need to avoid like the plague) and so much out there to arouse our curiosity that time hardly permits us to aimlessly wonder through cyberspace. This requires discipline and focus – to be continuously aware of avoiding being sidetracked and sticking with the program.
Despite the plethora of Christian content via the web, always aim for sites that promote your growth in faith and in sound doctrine; so much time can be wasted on trivial pursuits. Always aim for the best sites that are Christ-centred (when it comes theology); there is so much out there that will promote self in the most subtlest ways. As Oswald Chambers stated, “The good is the enemy of the best.” With the pursuit of God’s glory in mind, we shall do well to redeem the time to the honour of His name.
Posted on February 21, 2014, in ♣ Devotional and tagged balance, Christ-centred, communication, cyberspace, devotional, Ephesians 5:16, God’s glory, growth in faith, Information technology, internet browsing, iPad or Tablet, mainstream news media, Mark Anthony Williams, obsessed, Oswald Chambers, productive, promoting self, real, Reality versus Virtuality, redeem the time, resource, robotic, secularised media, Smartphone, solidity, sound doctrine, spellbinding, synthetic, technological vogue, texting, theology, time, trivial pursuits, unbiblical perspective, unproductive, virtual reality, World Wide Web. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.