Five Dangers of Computer Unreality
1) The hook of constant curiosity
Personal computers offer a never-ending possibility for discovery. Even the basic environment of Windows can consume hours and days and weeks of curious punching and experimenting. Color schemes, layouts, screen-savers, short-cuts, icons, file-managing, calculators, clocks, calendars, etc. Then there are the endless software applications consuming weeks of your time as they lure you into their intricacies. All this is very deceptive, giving the illusion of power and effectiveness, but leaving you with a feeling of emptiness and nervousness at the end of the day. RESOLUTION: I will strictly limit my experimental time in the computer and devote myself more to the truth than to technique.
2) The empty world of virtual (un)reality
How sad to see brilliant, creative people pouring hours and days of their lives into creating cities and armies and adventures that have no connection with reality. We have one life to live. All our powers are given to us by the REAL God for the REAL world leading to a REAL heaven and REAL hell. RESOLUTION: I will spend my constructive, creative energy not in the unreality of “virtual reality” but in the reality of the real world.
3) "Personal" relations with PC
Like no other invention, the personal computer comes closest to being like a person. You can play games with it. There are programs that will dialogue with you about your personality. It will talk to you. It will always be there for you. It is smarter than your dog. The great danger here is that we really become comfortable with this manageable electronic “person,” and gradually drift away from the unpredictable, frustrating, sometimes painful dealings with humans persons. RESOLUTION: I will not replace the risk of personal relationships with impersonal electronic safety.
4) The risk of tryst
“Tryst \‘trist\ noun: An agreement (as between lovers) to meet." Sexual affairs begin in private time together, extended conversation, and the sharing of soul. It can now be done in the absolute seclusion of your private email screen name. It can be immediate and “live,” or delayed and “recorded.” You can think that “it’s just nothing”—until she shows up in town. RESOLUTION: I will not cultivate a one-on-one relationship with a person of the opposite sex other than my spouse. If I am single I will not cultivate such a relationship with another person’s spouse.
5) PC Porn
More insidious that X-rated videos, we can now not only watch but join the perversity in the privacy of our own den. Interactive porn will allow you to “do it” or make them “do it” with your mouse. I have never seen it. Nor do I ever intend to. It kills the spirit. It drives God away. It depersonalizes women. It quenches prayer. It blanks out the Bible. It cheapens the soul. It destroys spiritual power. It defiles everything. RESOLUTION: I will never open any program for sexual stimulation nor purchase or download anything pornographic.
On the alert with you and Jesus,
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org