Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:15
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
I have heard the question asked more times than I care to remember: Are you on Facebook? My answer is always the same: No. I don't use any kind of social media. Usually I don't bother elaborating, not unless the questioner seems truly interested in my reasons.
Just a brief statement, for clarity: Facebook is, and always has been, a government operation for data extraction and collection on individuals, which is used as a tool for social engineering, propaganda, and ultimately, control. Social media, in general, is a tool of the surveillance society, the totalitarian collectivism of the anti-Christian New World Order.
And, if people's lives are so empty that they resort to seeking “friends” on Facebook, what a crying shame.
This report serves as my position statement on what the Internet has become, and the reasons I have chosen to limit my use of it. More than that, it will reveal my intense dislike of the intrusive and disrespectful culture it has spawned.
A culture where respect for the privacy, personal boundaries and spiritual integrity of individuals is a thing of the past, as people voluntarily publish the most minute and intimate details of their lives for all the world to see. And while they're at it, they drag in the names of others who are not so inclined, whose lives, as they have every right to determine, are not an open book, fodder for all and sundry to examine. I am just one such individual.
They not only do not respect the privacy and boundaries of others, they do not even acknowledge the rights of the individuals whose privacy they are invading. Well, everybody does it, they smugly proclaim. As if that is a defense of the ethically indefensible, a justification for the unjustifiable. And no, “everybody” most certainly does not do it.
A culture which encourages exploitation, aggression and predatory behaviors by opportunists, mountebanks and snake oil salesmen, quite a few of whom are criminals. A culture populated by gossips, meddlers and busybodies, who clearly believe they have the 'right' to invade the lives of others, simply because they have the means and opportunity to do so. As for the motives, they range from seeking the approval of the world (ego-gratification, self-aggrandizement), to raking in ill-gotten profits at the expense of others; and worst of all, to assault others with their vile perversions.
Not that there is anything new under the sun, this has always been the way of the world. But the culture of the Internet has made it far more difficult for people of faith to live a Christian life, with the values of the world intruding on every side.
For me personally, this culture has become a minefield, a source of stress and troubles galore. A culture, especially as a Christian, I want no part of. It is tailor made for those whose love is for the things of the world, rather than the love of and obedience to God.
Not just the Internet, but 'smart phones', and related technology, which has created a population of tranced-out screen zombies. The screen is always on, always at hand. Any activity in their lives will be interrupted, as the endless flow of messages pop up, accompanied by various beeps, buzzes and ringtones of noise pollution. The screen zombies are 'on call' (literally) 24/7, seemingly enslaved by the fear of missing a message. Heaven forbid!
My uses of the Internet are limited to e-mail (used only for brief messages or sending documents); publishing reports on my website, and as a guest on radio programs; doing research.
In today's world, it is virtually impossible to function without this technology. Finding products, services or organizations? There is no other way.
Before the Internet, if you wanted to hire some sort of service, you could simply look up a number in a phone book. You could call the number, get a real live person on the line, request the information you needed, and decide to hire that service – or not. Now, you are asked to 'sign up', 'sign in' or 'log in', in order to even access the information. Otherwise, you are blocked from any further information you need. Unless I can find a phone number to call, where I can speak to a human being, they will not get my business.
Since there are no public phone booths anymore, few hardcopy phone directories, you would be hard-pressed to be able to communicate without a cell phone. Most people use cell phones exclusively, and don't have a landline in their homes. As I have heard some say, their whole lives are on their phones. And what will happen if they lose the phone? Disaster will follow, as they have invested all they have in a device, a mere piece of equipment.
I have a basic cell phone, an old prepaid model, no contract, not listed under any name. I use it only when necessary when I am not at home, or for emergencies when driving. Otherwise, it is turned off. Period.
For quite some time, texting has been the preferred method, rather than a phone conversation. I have never sent a text message. I don't know how, and have no desire to learn. The few persons who have my cell number know that it is turned off most of the time; if they want to reach me they can call me at home. If I am out they can leave a voice mail.
They have also been told that I do not communicate by texting. And yet, some continue to disregard my clearly stated wishes by sending text messages. My 'response' is to simply hit the DELETE button, without reading the message.
I have actually been harassed by people who do not seem to understand the simple phrase: I DO NOT USE TEXT MESSAGES, NOR DO I ACCEPT THEM.
And yet, they continue to badger me, telling me that I need to 'adapt'. No, I 'need' to do no such thing, just because other people find it to be convenient for them. I have even recently learned, to my dismay, that some people have decided to automatically translate voice mail into text messages. This they say, is more 'convenient'. So, they will never even hear anything I had to say. Instead, they will receive a sterile message devoid of the actual meaning I intended to convey. My response to that, once I learned that my intended messages are not getting through, is that if I call them and they don't pick up, I disconnect the line. They can choose to call me back, or not.
I refuse to become a zombified slave to other people's convenience. I am not available 24/7; I will not be pressured to answer messages on anyone's timeline, and I will not be forced into their soulless mode of communication. It is depersonalizing in the extreme, and I refuse to be drawn into this system.
If they really want to hear from me, if it is actually important to them, they will make an actual phone call and speak to me. If not, that tells me all I need to know.
Back to the Internet. The prevailing trend is now to use Twitter and Facebook (as well as other social media), even for journalists. They post a brief statement on Twitter, which often leads to a link to another site. Often that site is Facebook. For someone like me, who does not use Facebook, that means that more often than not I am unable to access the page.
Some people have told me that they use Facebook only as a platform to promote their work, or as a professional venue as a 'public figure'. I won't criticize them for that, it is not my business. I can only say that since I am unable to access what they are promoting, if they don't choose to make it public for all to see, they may lose any support or promotion I may have otherwise given, since I am locked out from their material.
Countless times, I have heard or read the complaints from users of Facebook: I have been suspended from Facebook! I have been banned from Facebook! My Facebook page has been shut down! Woe is me!
My question is, why would anyone willingly be a part of a system that censors, blocks, suspends, bans them? An operation which does not allow them their God-given right to free speech? Which tries to force their politically correct, totalitarian, marxist/socialist/communist standards on the content? WHY? Why, I wonder, don't they just free themselves from the tyranny and get the hell off Facebook!
One of many reasons I refuse to use Twitter or Facebook, is that simply by doing so the user invites contact from the general public, along with their comments. The automated system also sets things up so that the user's name is linked to any of a number of other accounts, without their previous knowledge or consent. Evidently, this doesn't bother most people, but it is insufferable to me. I don't want my name associated with strangers, known charlatans, or people who are my enemies, simply because a computer system run by robots, bureaucrats and social engineers decides there is relevance where none exists.
Then, there is the function of 'blocking'. So-and-so blocked me on Facebook! So-and-so blocked me on Twitter! They publicly announce this in a hissy fit to all and sundry. This system produces a culture of suspicion and hostility, where the approval seekers are in a constant battle, jockeying for supremacy and oneupmanship. To what end? By the same token, they boast about who “follows” them. As if their whole purpose, the ultimate goal of their lives, is to get followers, “likes”, and hit counts. To be pleasers of men, rather than followers of Christ.
On You Tube, the users are battling against others for subscribers. This, in part, is about money. I understand that some people make a living on the Internet by producing content. Again, I would not criticize them for that. But I don't subscribe, nor join up, nor sign in, in order to have access to any content. The same goes for pay walls. If content is not free, I don't pay to access it, no matter how interested I might be.
Then, there is 'Patreon'. Most users (podcasts, talk shows, print media) offer special benefits and exclusive content to subscribers. I understand, they have to fund their enterprises. And there are some individuals and organizations I would gladly support, had I the resources. All I am able to do, given my circumstances of living in dire poverty, is to promote them by placing a link to their websites on my own site. If I had the money, I would send a donation, or regular donations, by post. But I would draw the line at subscribing, or using Paypal.
On these issues, I speak strictly for myself. I don't expect others to agree with me, nor do I try to force my views on them. The one thing I do expect is that others will respect my privacy, my personal boundaries and my right to self-determination, based on my Christian faith. I will not be a part of this system, on principle.
Here's a question to ponder: When Jesus returns, in all His glory, to judge the living and the dead, do you really believe He will be using social media?
Jesus is NOT on Facebook.
August 8, 2019