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Screen Culture, Part 2 – A Focus on Self

August 4, 2019

Young people texting at a party, Author Tomwsulcer (CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

In this series, we examine the spiritual implications of today’s computer culture.

“Digital connections and the sociable robot may offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.  Our networked life allows us to hide from each other, even as we are tethered to each other.  We’d rather text than talk.”

-Sherry Turkle, Alone Together:  Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other (2017)


Algorithms intentionally tailor our online experience to the individual.  Yahoo News is personalized.  The Huffington Post and the Washington Post are, also, exploring personalization.  Facebook and Google invisibly edit out information we may find unpleasant or unimportant.

We see what we think we want to see, but not necessarily what we need to see.  We hear no opposing voices.  Democracy, however, requires discourse and compromise.

A Focus on Self

Screen culture leads to a focus entirely on self.  The guiding principle is that “It’s all about me.”  As a result, our relationships suffer.  We neglect our children, spouses, neighbors, and co-workers in favor of a virtual world centered around us.  Our children, of course, imitate us.

Biblical Perspective

The Bible, by contrast, instructs us to avoid focusing on ourselves.  We are told, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2: 4).

Focusing on ourselves is, in fact, the very opposite of focusing on God.  “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8: 7-8).

This series continues next week with Part 3 – Addiction as a Marketing Tool

The nation mourns the mass shootings which took place in El Paso and Dayton this weekend


From → Christian, Religion

  1. Very true. As a nominally shy person I find myself hiding behind a screen more than I ought to.

  2. A powerful post Anna!

  3. Amen Anna.. If we all looked out for the interest of others.
    There is an imbalance between the selfies and the selfless..

  4. Both frustrating and frightening to know fb/google keep trying to think for us!
    Annoying now, but they are setting some serious snares for Satan’s NWO…
    So many people are SO busy enjoying their personalized “freedom” and won’t
    even know what hit ’em 😱 Often also, people post things about others ie) b-days,
    yet all the while they are using it for self-gratification. It’s like watching an entire
    society slowly commit suicide… heartbreaking… 🙏💔😔💜 Jackie@KWH

  5. Great post, Anna. Over time, algorithms separate us into groups and, because our group thinks the same way about religion and politics… Our beliefs are no longer challenged. It’s groupthink. For followers of Christ, this makes it more difficult to influence unbelievers.

    • You are so right, Bill. Disagreement is now viewed as disrespect, rather than an opportunity for dialog.

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