Thursday, July 18

The RIP tide of Technology :: Part Two

Thank you for returning to read Part 2 of my writing entitled, The Rip tide of Technology. I know Part One was heavy, but there isn't a way to sugar-coat truth even when we try. 

As a Christian woman who is deeply committed to her faith in Christ Jesus, I try to view life through a Biblical lens. I don't always get it right, but I've gotten better at it with age and a strong dedication to the Word. With that being said, I never set out to become so entrenched in a subject that was totally unexpected and yet totally connected. I don't think it is a coincidence either. 

Personally, I believe that I am standing at an intersection where the light has now turned yellow. Not a blinking yellow light that allows me to proceed with caution, rather a yellow light that will turn red very, very soon signaling me to stop. Actually, I am not alone and I see more like me gathering on the curb waiting as well.

I know I live in a very different time now than I did even twenty-years ago. I remember the excitement of that big square desk top computer that was pulled from the box, set up and the strange sound it made when finally getting connected to the internet. 

It was where I learned that I could write, where I could find other women who lived simply, who homeschooled and who had values similar to mine. I have never regretted one post I've written, the communities of women I helped bring together or the friendships that were made.

 But, those days are long gone now and it doesn't feel like anything that was and for the most part our family is now raising and homeschooling their own family. 

Along with the passing years, the changes that have come were quick and in the name of progress, but many are beyond belief. Surely, I do know that there is good left threaded through this sticky web. 

The deception and pollution embedded in our current culture is toxic, but I can't help but wonder how long it has been coming. Slowly, but surely we have been lulled into a dream state. It is time to wake up!! 

We are in a battle for our minds, as well as for our children and grandchildren's minds. We are called to "renew our minds", be of "a sound mind", "take every thought captive", but instead we live confused, harried, disjointed and scattered on a nearly daily basis. 

This sounds like the enemy of our souls has us pretty much where he wants us. If he can get us in this current zombie state idolizing a phone, Dear God! a phone!! Imagine what is coming down the road and do not be deceived, it is coming and it is coming for our young as well. No doubt it is already here and once in awhile (if you are rested, alert and on your guard) you will catch a glimpse of it's tail slithering around internet corners.

So, in closing, it has been nearly 2 months since this journey began and I will continue to process all of my findings, by laying it alongside scripture. I will be asking myself some hard questions, what remains out of necessity and what is to be thrown out and forgotten. 

For now, I will look back, remember and lament with the Lord for a time before making changes and moving forward. 

While I finished typing up this post, one last book on this subject came by mail.

100 Things We've Lost to the Internet by Pamela Paul

I stopped on #69 when sadness once again gripped my heart and tears flowed. 


I have more that I could say, but this post has become long enough and I've said enough. 

Dear Friends, this is not my typical type of writing and I doubt with it's topic and length it will be read in its entirety. But, it will live here at The Simple Woman blog until blogs fade in the light of the next big thing. 

I'll end by asking you a question to ponder in your quiet time.

   I have asked myself the same one and I share it with love and concern for you. 

Are you distracted, deceived or knowingly being disobedient? 

Like Gollum in Lord of the Rings, has your phone become your "My Precious"



"Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Matthew 6:21


Tuesday, July 16

The RIP tide of Technology :: Part One

And before you know it, you are swept further and further away and daily life becomes smaller and smaller, until you are pulled under in what looked like calm on the surface.

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I am late to the party, but there's not much to celebrate. Actually, I am years late in reading the book 

The Shallows : What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

I wish I hadn't missed that one, but timing is everything and maybe the timing with this one has been perfect.

Two months ago, I found a lady I had followed during the early days of blogging and then for a time on Instagram. She had long since deleted her Facebook and Instagram accounts and newer posts on her blog were pretty sparse. Looking back through the archives from a few years ago, I found a post that caught my eye, so much so that I printed out all 12 pages. 

As someone who has had an ongoing love/hate relationship herself with time spent online, it intrigued me. Her words drew me like a moth to a flickering candle and I wanted to read, re-read and read again this path she took in leaving social media. I thought why did she do that and what was her motivation. It was within those 12 pages that she mentioned the book, The Shallows. 

I quickly took off to the library to get a copy and spent several weeks pouring over the chapters. I poured, but it went slow as I had to follow and digest a subject I knew nothing about. It took reading half of the book until I could begin putting any pieces together of what has turned out to be a very big puzzle. 


The book stretched me in so many ways, and as I went along it became pretty mind blowing. It's content made me angry and sad, with tears shed at times. I know...shedding tears over a book about the internet, but I was born on the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation. I have had all of my sweet girlhood and early adulthood knowing nothing of big TECH. I actually thank God for that fact quite often.

I read how there is now a "Generation Net". These are the kids who have grown up using the web and know nothing about life without it. How they "don't necessarily read a page from left to right and from top to bottom". "How the "calm, undistracted linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often over-lapping bursts the faster the better"

Our attention and focus are being seized and scattered to the wind. I started thinking to myself, why didn't we see this before now, why didn't I see this before now. But, we know how deception works and who the author of deception is, sorta like hiding in plain sight.

I shuddered reading over the last chapters where the author added, "It's an ancient idea, one that was given perhaps it's most eloquent and ominous expression by the Old Testament psalmist:
 
'Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. 
They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. 
They have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. 
Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.'
Psalm 135:15-18 (NIV)

The second name she dropped in her post was Jaron Lanier, a "virtual reality pioneer" and author of the book


I ordered this one and it helped me put more pieces of the puzzle together. I was now beginning to dig into some ugly truth. Jaron writes, "For years I had to endure quite painful criticism because I was perceived as a traitor for criticizing what we were doing.."



During my reading of this book, a half page article showed up in my local newspaper, "Tabaco-like warning label for social media sought by US Congress to act." Let's face it, just like big Tabaco, big Tech isn't going anywhere. 


Then, a few days later in the same paper, "Apple enters AI race hoping to overtake early leaders." 


I slowed things down a bit by reading 


This book takes us to the heart of distraction by asking the questions, "What if the physical effects of distraction are only symptomatic of a more important issue in the life of the believer? What if eyes prone to wonder become correlative to a heart that is much the same? What if a mind fueled by pinball patterns of thinking, emaciated from the kind of focus that could provide any real sustenance, becomes a mind that struggles to linger with the Lord, to remember His ways, who He is, and how He loves?" 

She made the excellent point that we seem to be able to put our full focus on many, many unimportant things, things that we really want to pay attention to. Hmmm

In the midst of what now was a full on assault of my time and energy, my desk was covered with books, newspapers, research articles and most importantly my Bible. I kept wading through more books like this one


This book went along well with Katie Westenberg's book since Ana also focused on a similar line of thinking, such as, "impulses that demand our attention at every moment, causing our minds to lose the ability to focus on deep things." "It's like when a child spends hours in front of the television : he loses the ability to find fun in the world around him and finally just wants to be entertained. 
Avoid becoming a brain that only wants to feed on the sugar of the superficial."

As I finished reading the last of the four books that I have listed above, it became obvious that I needed to share my thoughts here on the blog. 

However, I need to make it clear this post is just that...my thoughts...to be continued

Part Two will be posted later in the week 

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Below you will find more headlines that came at me during the months of putting this post together and they are bright and hot red lights for anyone who has commonsense. The last two simply took my breath away!!