Have you ever cooked a live frog?
You shouldn’t. But I’ve been told the trick is putting the frog into a pot of water at room temperature and then slowly turning up the heat until the frog is cooked. If you put the frog in when the water’s boiling it will jump out (This is an analogy. Please do not boil live frogs).
Change that is imperceptible effects us greatly. Even if we don’t realize it, perhaps especially because we don’t realize it.
It is very interesting and important to ask how we are being “cooked.” What impact is the digital age having on us?
First, I will not deny that the digital age has provided innumerable delights. I am not at all saying we should go back to the Stone Age or be Amish or something. I personally “like” Facebook and don’t mind Twitter. I like my iPhone even if it might be making me stupid.
We must, however, be aware that even if something is a delight it doesn’t mean we can consume it without thought. I find delight in ice cream but that does not mean that I consume it without discretion. Or, at least, I shouldn’t.
Second, we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are connected with people and involved in community when we’re really just sitting on the toilet looking at what people are doing.
We can think that we’re smart, when it’s really just our smart phone. We are indiscriminately taught and sold a certain worldview and view of prospering by feeds, blogs, and tweets. Yet who articulates, let alone thinks about, the impact that Snapchat, Instagram, and our new phone appendage is having on us? Who checks their own pulse and asks if they are amusing their self to death?
Third, there are obvious dangers in the deceits that we have covered above but there are also other dangers we should consider.
There is a danger in thinking FaceTime is equivalent to face time. Is it? Who’s asking? Who cares?
Are men and women (and boys and girls!) so shaped and familiar with pornography that actual real, human, face-to-face, relationships are becoming irrelevant? Are people asking this question? Do people care?
How is Snapchat, the limited characters of Twitter, and the funny sound bits all over the place shaping the way we think and concentrate? Is the new artform of memes impacting other more refined forms of art? Are people asking this question? Does anyone care?
I could go on and on with these types of questions. But I won’t. I’ve probably already exceeded the limits of our concentration!
There will be more to come. But perhaps I can start a much-needed conversation with all my fellow Snapchaters, tweeters, Instagrammers, and Facebook feeders that have a phone appendage like me.
Enter the Conversation
What thoughts do you have on the delights, deceits, and dangers of the digital age?