Tag Archives: internet

Tech = Baal (Re: Idol worship)

Personal Handy-phone System mobiles and modems...

Baal worship...new skool

Baal worship...old school

TECH = Baal. True or false?

We’d like to think idol worship isn’t something we practice. We don’t bow down to manmade gods like the foolish people of old we read of in the Bible, right?

Not so fast. (I think we do)

Probably, if we can’t live without something invented in the last 150 years, it qualifies as an idol–Yes. A full-tilt false god.

If we have a trust and loyalty to something we assume is a necessity, I think we should challenge this devotion.

Here’s the ugly truth. You probably worship your computer, your Apple product, your GPS, your phone, or your car. (Our association with technology is the modern equivalent of Old Testament style idolatry.)

A “long ago” 2007 British study of 1,256 people showed that 1/3 of those asked would pass on $2 million to keep their cell phone. 85 percent of those studied said that having a mobile phone was “vital to maintaining their quality of life.” The statistics are likely far higher now, almost 4 years later.

So, it’s simple. Tech = Baal.
Now, will you give up your false god?

At first we rebuff this allegation of idol worship. We’ll think of ways that the things we adore are for safety, common sense practicality, or we’ll come up with a rationalization for why our devotion isn’t really so bad.

The prevailing idea is that if the technology is available, there’s a kind of moral imperative to utilize it. “If it’s possible–it should been done.” Hence, things like octoplets, an artist being fitted with digital camera skull implant, and decades-long life support situations happen. (Can you think of another gross abuse of technology?)

What of ourselves is lost because of these unnatural loyalties?
Probably, a basic part of our humanity.
Sound overblown?
Let’s be serious: We become what we serve. We are enslaved to what we worship. What are the repercussions for serving technology?

Here’s a case in point:

It seems no one (especially under a certain age[?]) can image going without a mobile phone, or internet capabilities for a few hours, let alone a few days. Could you give up technology that’s been created within the last fifty years for a full week? Would it cramp your style, and make you grouchy? (Signs say yes…that’s old school tech…the 8 Ball.)

281 million youth have cell phones. I admit I have withdrawal symptoms without access to the internet for more than a day. I get twitchy. It’s uncomfortable. And no, I don’t like it.

So, I think we have to be honest and address this. What do you think about it? When have you worshiped technology? What do you think you do about it?

Is there a Christian spiritual practice that can help us?

Absolutely. It’s called fasting. Prayer, fasting, and giving to the poor are the pinnacle of Kingdom of God living, according to Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. Without these things, we are not living as a follower of Christ as he laid it out.

A Tech Fast should be part of your spiritual practice, because it will get your attention better than most things will. This will create growth and maturity.

Fasting challenges our loyalties.
(Read that again)
When we desire the thing we fast from, it creates a space to concentrate and reflect. It re-proritizes our habits, calls them into question, and helps us sift through the what we we should hold dear versus what should be leashed and subdued. When the pang to digitally connect, shout out our thoughts to the masses, or get instant information strikes, we can train our hearts as we place prayer and worship in that void that feels like need. The point isn’t to prove our righteousness by going without, but rather to create time and space for heightened refocus and Christian spiritual practice. God has us engage in fasting for our benefit, not his. It’s a training method…a.k.a. a disciplineIt’s a command to fast. (Sorry to break this to you.)

BUT GOOD NEWS: The effect is refreshment, and quite likely a more informed outlook on our lives.

Will you take the JANUARY TECH CHALLENGE with me? Kick the new year off on a new foot. Between now and the end of January, fast 3 times from technology. Start off with a few hours, or half of a day (if you’re ready for THAT-gulp), and try to build up to 2-5 days by the end.

Feedback appreciated on this. Thanks.

God Bless you.
Lisa

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Is technology changing YOUR brain? short fun test

Texting on a keyboard phone

Image via Wikipedia

 

10 Signs your brain is changing because of technology (computer, internet, twitter, facebook, texting, iPhone, iPad, DS, etc.)

The ones with “*” are  just made up for the sake of humor. (Let’s just say, I like to insert humor, and yet be an insightful resource for you. Your welcome people of earth.)

THE TEST

Answer yes or no:

1. You spend more than two hours a day interacting with/using technology.

2. You have extraordinarily strong thumbs compared to an Amish person.*

3. You have a short attention span, which has gotten shorter. (Finishing this self-test even seems like a challenge at this point.)

4. You have trouble sleeping at few times per week.

5. Your short term memory seems to be suffering. (Like right now, for instance, you might even have to concentrate to remember why you wanted to take this self-test in the first place).

6. You like to change channels on the tv a lot, and you bounce from thing to thing online, at work, and at home.

7. If you set out to do something, and get online, or start texting, you tend to get distracted from your original task or objective. (Maybe-just now-you were checking on the news, email, or something, and whoops here you are taking this test, ’cause, “heck, it’ll only take a minute!”)

8. You get more than 1 headache a week.

9. You’d contemplate enhancing your brain with extra RAM or flash memory, (if it were possible.)*

10. 48 hours with no technology seems quite unlikely, or basically a bad idea.

HOW DID YOU DO?

1 or more YES answers mean your thought patterns (and your actual physical grey matter) is being altered by the “cooperation with technology.”  So, basically you could be “less human” than you were just a short while ago. Okay, I just made all that up about the test answers. It’s not scientific. Nevertheless, beyond the silliness, the point stands: What we do and think thoroughly (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically) changes us. For real.

Please post your results, out of 10. Let’s see how we all stack up.

(My number is 10 of 10)

From studying the brain, scientists have found that repeated thoughts and mental or physcial actions (like texting, reading, speaking, running, etc.)  actually create physical grooves in the brain, not just faster neuron pathways. When we practice a skill, learn a sport, or study facts, a little trench is carved into our brain tissue. This is also another reason it is hard to break a habit. A habit is physical. One must make a new brain groove to break a habit. By 21 days, a habit is well-formed.

This natural condition of the function of the brain helps us to learn–in the best-case scenario. In a worst-case scenario these thoughts become ditches of obsessive thoughts, vices, bad habits, sin, and worse. We learn to be bad, better. And, with all the technological interaction, we become more ill-at-ease, tired, nervous, restless, and unhappy, in fact.  There is a physical change detectable on brain imaging equipment because of it. (So, you could say, it’s not just “in your head”. ha. groan. sorry.)

Food for thought? YES. Think about all the negative chatter that goes on in the mind, for instance, everyday, or even every hour. A person thinks about sixty thousand thoughts each day. Many are random thoughts and many are negative. Have you ever taken an hour and made a hatch mark for each non constructive or obsessive thought that comes to your mind? You could get a hand cramp!

There’s that song, “Be careful little eyes what you see…and little hands what you do…and little ears what you hear…” Well, yeah. Be careful. It matters.

We must watch our thoughts and actions, because they actually make up who we are.

Also if you feel a specific pattern occurring in your life, or notice habitual unhelpful thoughts afflicting you, you can know for certain they are creating an actual trench in your mind. So, take it as your own “red flag”.

See if you can “get a new groove” going. Consciously fasting from technology, even for a short bit, can give your groove-producing brain a well-needed break.

My friend Ed, recommends a needed 5 minute retreat, here. Good stuff!

The expression “a one track mind” is truer than we ever believed!

Any other ideas?

Lurking

A one way conversation

They say that 90% of people who visit a blog simply “lurk.” That is, they read, and rummage around a bit, but do not participate or respond to posts by leaving comments–even when it is encouraged.

Why do you think this is?

(Smash the stats, and answer rather than lurk this time, k?) 😉

Thanks for reading!