Almana Ger Yatom

Widows, Strangers, Orphans: Journeying with the Poor

What to watch out for in the internet and social media

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  1. Compassion fatigue: when there are so many needs, it overwhelms us. When so many people are dying, being assassinated, starving, we stop caring. What to do? We need to persevere, we need to continue to care.
  2. Carried by the trends: everything, every inch, every second, someone in the internet is trying to sell us something whether it’s a product, an idea, a fashion or even a politician. Everywhere we turn, we are tempted to buy this or buy that. Everything is designed to fuel our addiction. What to do? We need to resist buying or following trends. Be very prayerful when you want to buy something. Pray for a week before buying.
  3. Herd mentality algorithm: the internet is run by a herd mentality like the bait fish in the ocean that forms into a ball when a predator fish comes close, or when the caribou herd is being pursued by wolves, they run in a close formation, synchronized with each other’s body. This is what the algorithm also does to us netizens, whenever we click something, the algorithm begins to move us towards a particular direction. Overtime we become a herd, we are no longer individuals! If we like camping tents, soon, our FB or YouTube is swamped with ads on camping tents. In the end, what happens is we are herded towards the herd that likes the same things. If we like climate change, all we will see are news and articles about climate change and what everyone who is interested in climate change is talking about. In the end, we are narrowed down to our tiny little world of concerns. We wont hear or read anything about petunias or banking or anything we are uninterested in. What to do? We must understand what the algorithm is trying to do to us. We must break free of it. Click stop to History in your YouTube. Don’t accept Cookies. Remove all search histories every once in a while.
  4. Become garbage: every time you accept a friend request in FB, you open your account to more garbage. You multiply that with all your friends in FB and that’s potentially how much garbage you are getting everyday in your FB account (or in Messenger or Tweet, etc.). Very few netizens will post something useful or informative. Most will post selfies and useless chatters. What to do? Accept friends but switch off the Follow mode (unfollow them, except those who really help you with their posts, educate you, encourage you…. I don’t include Christian sloganeering, platitudes, quoting verses, they absolutely don’t help, and mostly they desensitize us to God’s Word).
  5. Pornography: it’s a fact that since the internet, porn has proliferated like fast food. One indicator is that porn revenues have gone down drastically because so many are free. So many girls are exposing their bodies and so many are following suit. We are creating a society of peeping toms, voyeurs. God said, if you look at a woman or man with lust in your eyes, you have committed adultery. Porn has also pushed the pressure on body fitness including shapes of labias. We are creating monsters of normal people. We are saying this woman or that man is ugly. What to do? Preach about it, its always there, its among our kids, neighbors, everyday. Pray God will stamp it out before it erodes the basic moral fiber of our society so much we can no longer think about what is right and wrong, we wont know our left hand from our right hand anymore.
  6. Knowing without learning: we know so much and we think we are educated. We are like people who are experts in Trivia (we are experts in cut and paste). What is the capital of Spain, what is the highest mountain….? But we really are becoming less educated. We have less capacity to discern fake news from real news. We have less capacity for integration. It also shows in our academic institutions, we are pulling out the liberal arts subjects (history, philosophy). Our world is run by experts who know nothing about their past and how they are to live their lives, they have no moral compass, are very shortsighted and very demanding. What to do? Study history, study philosophy.
  7. Switch to autopilot: when we wake up, it’s the first thing we do. We open our FB. Before going to bed, we put ourselves to sleep with the internet. While eating or driving we open our internet. We multitask. Autopilot is also what happens to most people who watch porn. They have nothing to do so they open their internet and before you know it, they are watching porn. Autopilot is what happens when we become absent. We are just being driven by habits. We are not consciously running our lives. What to do? Become mindful. Be present. Pause before you jump into autopilot, before you go to FB, before you open your internet, PAUSE . Endure that moment, that painful and heartbreaking moment when you feel bored, unwanted, lonely, useless. Stay there for a moment. Stop. Be Still and Know that God is God. Let Him be God in that moment before you disappear again into autopilot.
  8. Become a substitute for real live relationships with real people: some people substitute relationships with pets, in time someone created virtual pets, but now we also have virtual people and virtual relationships. What to do? ensure you have really good healthy relationships with good healthy people (not just evangelicals, but also so called unbelievers, they are great people too believe me).

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