Have I posted too much information? This is the proverbial question that resurfaces regularly in our modern world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, the list goes on…
People ask the same question about alcohol, food, work: how much is too much? Well, this happens to be a subject that greatly interests me. God-willing, by the end of the fall, I will have completed an Information Access and Privacy Protection Certificate (IAPP) from the University of Alberta. After six and a half years at Transport Canada and over half a year at Library and Archives Canada in the Access to Information and Privacy field, I have grown quite intrigued by the “information overload” of our digital age.
Many citizens of our day sift through reams of information as they navigate the challenges of daily life. The Internet can be very addictive. Children, and then teens, need to learn responsibility and how to set proper boundaries for themselves so that they don’t spend too much time connected to the online world. Contrary to popular belief, the Internet does not solve all of our problems.
The trouble is that the Internet has solved many of our problems. Or, more accurately, simplified our lives. Supposedly, we save a lot of time by completing purchases online rather than waiting in line-ups. So, from a strictly economic point of view, the Internet has been a real boon. But if one expands one’s notion of the societal impact of the Web, one quickly realizes that the affects of the Internet have been dire, too.
Two key areas of our society that have been affected negatively by the Internet are our social and spiritual realms. Socially, we settle for more mediocre relationships that are “thin,” and many folks prefer conversing on social media rather than meeting face-to-face or even talking on the phone. We cast our net wide by amassing large groups of friends in our various digital networks only to discover that this provides a false sense of security since the quality of these relationships leaves little to be desired. After all, Jesus, the Son of God, ministered to the crowds, but hung out mainly with only twelve, right?
Spiritually-speaking, the Internet has increased the accessibility (and thus the bondage) of people to soul-sapping pornography. Christian apologist Josh McDowell has tried to get the church to wake up to this fact, and has thoughtfully orchestrated a really neat conference entitled the Set Free Summit, in which experts discuss some of the academics of what happens to the brain when it is stimulated in this sinful way. I recommend that you check out some of the resources that are promoted in this conference so that you and your family can better combat this evil in your own lives.
I also commend to your attention an article I wrote not too long ago entitled How the Internet Has Affected Us, in which I highlights positive and negative aspects about the way the Web has changed social, spiritual and business norms so drastically in little over 20 years.