IT’S A question many people are asking nowadays. Some are worried about the undeniable peripheral damage it has caused many people, especially the young. We cannot deny that forms of addiction, of wasting time, of exposing users to moral dangers, are appearing. These problems should be addressed promptly and drastically.
Others are also worried that some people condemn these new technologies as pure, unmitigated evil, and so they shy away from them completely and tell others to do likewise. This position is not realistic. It’s a cowardly attitude akin to the ostrich’s defense of burying its head in the sand when a predator comes.
Obviously, both groups have their valid reasons which should be given due consideration. But I think the main thing to do is to develop the sense and skill of using these new technologies properly. This to me translates into how to achieve a sober and intelligent use of these technologies.
Yes, we have to avoid plunging into these modern wonders guided only by our instincts, curiosities, and the intoxicating fascination for novelties. This attitude has no other end than disaster. We need to discipline these elements and put them under the direction of our reason enlightened ultimately by faith, hope, and charity.
In practical terms, we have to see to it that we have a clear and valid reason for using these technologies. And ultimately, the clear and valid motive for using these technologies is nothing other than giving glory to God and serving others. If we are not aware of or driven by these motives, we would be pursuing things badly.
The understandable spontaneous reaction of curiosity and interest once we discover and explore these technologies should immediately be reined in. It’s always worthwhile to practice some restraint and moderation in their use so as not to be dominated and led by mere blind impulses and urges. I would say that this is part of what Christ said about having to deny oneself and carry the cross if we have to follow him. (cfr. Mt 16,24)
Part of this self-restraint and moderation is to be content with what we already have unless we have good reason to explore into what we may consider as ‘new territories.’ There’s such thing as disciplining and even controlling our unhinged curiosities that can lead us to unnecessary complications in life.
This attitude and action is never an infringement of our freedom and our rights, as some people would claim. We can also freely deny ourselves when we realize that there is a higher good that we have to be more interested in pursuing and protecting.
Freedom is never just a function of following our instincts, feelings, and ideas alone. It is essentially a function of following the commandments of God who, in the first place, is the author of our freedom.
And if we follow by that rule, then our new technologies should be used for God’s glory that is translated into loving him and loving everyone. They are not meant simply to feed our own interests.
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