The Christian and the Internet: Are They Compatible?

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Tonight I was asked if social media platforms are ruining our lives, or improving them.  This was my response (literally, it was seriously this long!)

It all depends on how the tool is used. As with any tool, it can be used for ill or for good, for regression or for advancement. The platforms we now refer to as “Big Tech” discovered a market in selling personal details to advertisers to boost marketing efforts to get people to buy their stuff. On the one hand, getting to know your target market is extremely beneficial to how you design your packaging and word your offer so that you make a living doing what you do, whether as a freelancer or a corporation. But Big Tech went overboard and people don’t like what is being shared with advertisers.

When governments began asking for info on known criminals, this began with literally just criminals, suspects in crimes already committed. The danger began to surface when Apple woke up and realized that government requests to use iPhone backdoor entry was a privacy breach, that if they’d do that against criminals, who else would they do that to? It was a valid question! Since that question was asked, between then and the years that have passed between then and now, some governments have passed measures to limit a) what platforms are allowed to gather, and b) to disclose what they gather and how they use it, with an option for users to opt out of cookie tracking data, and even to request their data be deleted from the server. The EU put the GDPR into place for this very reason. Some countries elsewhere around the globe are considering following suit.

Unfortunately, we ended up with yet another case where control breeds greed, and now we have the EU putting a digital services act together that on the surface, makes a lot of sense, but below the surface, will put systems into place that will be used by the NWO whenever that finally comes to fruition.

When it comes to what people know about each other, what corporations know about their buyers, and what governments know about their citizens, the Age of Information has merely made such info easier to access, it was already being gathered in the past, but stored on paper in filing boxes is harder to get at than a digital database. The difference was that circles were smaller.

Living life in the public eye was a thing reserved for elites, actors and sports personalities and music groups. Now we all, one way or another, live in the public eye.

This shouldn’t mean we throw in the towel and give up on our privacy. It DOES mean we exercise wisdom and caution regarding what we share where with who over what method of communication. It isn’t necessary for the guy in Australia to know where the guy in Germany lives, nor is it necessary for Nike to know you like purple and your granddaughter wears it constantly.

For many years, people got upset occasionally that one arm of government couldn’t talk to the other arm and why did they have to fill out the same information multiple times on government forms?! Well, governments are learning how to merge their databases so that one set of info crosses all arms of government. 20 years ago, we would have seen this as a good thing, but the way things are going, it is shaping up to be a threat.

So what do we do?

A) We leave Big Tech as much as we can. For me, that’s involved de-googling as much as possible, leaving FB, Twitter, IG, and Youtube, being careful about new social platforms I try and ensuring that being able to be social is possible if a couple of them go down (parler anyone, wasn’t there but others were). I recently left Amazon and moved my books to B&N between March and May of this year.

B ) We exercise wisdom in who we share with and what we share. The fewer places on line that have your physical address and phone number, the better. For me, that’s uninstalling apps needing my phone number for as many as I can. Refusing to sign up to sites that demand a phone number (truth social won’t get my number). Filling in dummy data wherever possible (000-000-0000). Normally I do that when I don’t want to be contacted by phone. If a platform has privacy features, study them and learn how to use them! If a platform allows for private friends lists vs public sharing, keep family/friend stuff private and leave the public to news only. Even activism may not be able to stay public much longer.

C) Ever since I got online in 1994, I saw the Internet as the final frontier in missions! In the early 2000’s I found myself ministering to people online in prayer, Bible teaching, spiritual warfare training, and found that many who hid behind usernames, would be far more open to asking questions than those who used real names. The mission field online is huge! Hiding our faith online was like putting a lamp under a basket! Up to now, it’s been laudable to share your faith in public, but if governments and organizations get increasingly militant against anything that doesn’t go with the flow, online ministry may have to go private as well.

D) Whether you use an apple product or android or microsoft, do as little on your cellphone now as possible, and do as much on your desktop or laptop with a VPN as possible! Many VPN’s do offer apps for smartphones, and I have a referral link for anyone wanting to check out SurfShark, but your IP address is like your physical home address and occasionally, it has led authorities right to a person’s home! Just like your brother can’t find your new home without your new physical address, websites can’t deliver their webpages to your browser without knowing your IP either, so your IP is very useful! Unfortunately, it is also useful to those who have nefarious ideas too. You still need an IP online, but now it is best to use a VPN to get that IP!

I spent from 1995 to the last few years, as a certified A+ PC Repair Tech! I am trying to transition out of that into Biblical Natural Health Coaching as a Natural Health Practitioner, just got that diploma in March of this year. But I still pay attention to what is going on in the tech space. As an author since 2012, and as a self-employed entrepreneur, I have to market and promote my services or I don’t get sales. I appreciate that Gab, founded and run by a fellow Christian, is trying to encourage Christians to do business with each other and to build a parallel economy that he hopes is local to small business as well as online away from Big Tech. I haven’t made any sales over there yet, but he’s on his own servers, (MeWe is on Amazon’s AWS servers) building his own infrastructure to facilitate this.

As Christians, we are not to run from the technology of the day, we are to use it wisely. When you look down through history, God used the tech of the day for His purposes just as the enemy has done throughout history as well. We have to be cunning, wise, alert, careful, and do what we can with what we have while we have the ability to use it to encourage the Kingdom of God and to reach out to the lost. We are called to make a difference! We can’t do that when we hide. As a self-described hermit who shows up in public when I need to (hosting major events in the past for my church etc), I can say that the past 2 years made me feel almost caged in my own home! BUT. . . I could turn on my computer, start up my browser, and interact with fellow believers around the world!

Songdove Books - Author's Bible open to Psalm119-9When I look at what Scripture says is coming down the pipe for the future, the Internet isn’t going to go away, in fact it is necessary for the enablement of the Mark of the Beast! We see many props in place now for that method of economics to kick in, and while the WEF and others have play-acted what might happen if there was a massive Internet outage, we know with certainty that it couldn’t last very long as they themselves need this method of communication and delivery if they are to connect every compliant citizen around the globe.

What we DO NOT want to be doing, is buying smart speakers, smart TV’s, buying smart homes, etc! I was shocked at how soon people forgot the Sony Smart TV fiasco when it was discovered that user info was being stored on 3rd party servers who were recording everything spoken within range of the smart TV’s microphone! I was shocked at how many forgot the fiasco with Microsoft when their gaming system’s voice activated command system was hardwired to connect to the Internet with no way to disable it!

When you are online in your browser, you are able to turn off that browser. You can tape over the camera on your laptop. You can unplug the speaker/headset from your computer (you can’t with a laptop). Your smartphone however, is always listening. My household has experienced this first hand.

Be wise and remove as many “smart” devices from your home as you can. Learn to shut off your browser and disconnect when you leave the house. Don’t take the Internet with you! My smartphone is a wifi-only phone, so I can only get emails and texts and phone calls when I am connected to a source of wifi. This means I am not always reachable. That is a good thing!

Each person will be led by the Holy Spirit to behave online differently from others. But the call goes out to everyone, to be wise!!!

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