Recently, I posted this article about redeeming technology. Every church has to deal with the ethical dilemmas presented by technology. I contend that technology is pretty much amoral – it is neither good nor bad. But, we can certainly twist and distort technology to do bad things.
Today, I ran across this piece which points out some of the dangers presented by the increasing integration of technology into our lives.
I remember reading a story where a school was spying on kids using the web-cam built into their school-issued laptops. When we hear such stories of technology being abused, there is a temptation to turn isolationist and shun that particular technology. But I really don’t think that is the right response.
The simple fact is that there will always be someone trying to abuse technology for nefarious purposes. But I guarantee that the same technology is being used in extraordinarily beneficial ways.
The right response is to adopt safe practices and rules of engagement. For example:
- Install anti-malware and anti-virus software.
- Put a piece of electrical tape over your web-cam (pretty easy to remove and re-use).
- Monitor your child’s usage of technology.
- Teach your child how to be safe.
- Back-up your data.
- Don’t share your passwords.
- Change your passwords often.
- Hide the keypad from view as you enter your PIN at the ATM.
- Don’t post your location on social networks.
- Do some research before adding that “friend.”
- Log-out whenever you leave a website.
- Shred snail-mail before sending it off to be recycled.
- Don’t text/email/web-surf while driving.
- etc. – duh!
All of these things are common sense practices that allow us to keep using that technology, while mitigating (notice I did not say eliminating) the potential for abuse. We don’t have to fear “modern” technology. After all, even the wheel (how basic can we go) can kill you, and we aren’t going to get rid of that any time soon.