The Hollow Promise the Internet Makes to Lonely People

Creating Your Own Image

One of the primary messages that the web is preaching to our hearts is that you can be anything and you can do anything, and you don’t have to accept the life of the world or the truth that God has put in your life.

The promise of the web is that with just a click of a button or the swipe of a finger, I can be in relationship with whoever. I can be involved in any type of controversy or conversation. I can curate the life that I really want online. That’s a powerful message.

Digital Liturgies

Samuel D. James

People search for heaven in all the wrong places, and the internet is no exception. Digital Liturgies warns readers of technology’s damaging effects and offers a fulfilling alternative through Scripture and rest in God’s perfect design.

It is very powerful to tell people that with just the right piece of technology, they can have the life that they really want, that the things that make them anxious or insecure about their bodies or about their relationships and offline life, all that can go away. All they need to do is to be online and they can control how they are presented to the world.

And that promise is really an empty promise because the self that we’re presenting to the world is not a real self, and the selves that we’re seeing stare back at us from the internet are not real selves. We’re all projecting an image of ourself.

It doesn’t mean we cannot be honest with other people when we use the internet or when we send an email, but it does mean that our digital selves are not part of objective reality, but something that we’re constantly curating to share with other people exactly what we want them to see. And that can lead to an unexpected sense of loneliness, even when we’re surrounded by digital friends.

Samuel D. James is the author of Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age.

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