Tag Archives: technology

Danger Zones in The Tech World

Take the red pill or blue pill. With the blue pill, you wake up and believe whatever you want. But … the red pill. Take that pill and you see how deep the rabbit hole goes, your eyes open to reality. But reality can be harsh, cruel, and difficult to navigate. The blue pill leaves you in your dream world without fears, but also clueless. The red pill … awareness.

If you never saw the Matrix movies, that last paragraph probably confused you. Let me elaborate … In 2022, there are very few people in our society that are not impacted by technology and the virtual world. I could discuss the MetaVerse, but let’s save that for another day. For today, the topic is ethical issues in the world of technology.

Jason Thacker, who serves as chair of research for the ERLC, wrote an article on 4 ethical issues in technology in 2022. If you continue to read ahead, thus taking the red pill, you will see some danger zones.

1/ Content Moderation and Free Speech … is the moderating of information protecting society, preventing divisiveness, simply done for altruistic purposes? Or is it unaccountable partisan suppression? Where is the line drawn?

2/ Misinformation/Fake News … this is not just in the political world, but I see it in religious circles too. Social media is too often one sided or partial point of view.

3/ Digital Surveillance and Data Privacy … do we really have privacy? Is Big Brother always watching? No web search, no pause on scrolling FaceBook goes unnoticed. And deleting a Snapchat, never gets deleted. And is facial recognition only in the movies?

Last year, I ordered some drama props for Easter about the persecution of Jesus. I ordered a leather whip and some handcuffs off Amazon. I got some really strange (and inappropriate) ads popping up everywhere I went online for weeks after that. No more handcuffs and whips for me.

4/ Digital Authoritarianism … will a few entities control all the flow of digital information? Don’t believe this is real? Check how the Communist Party in China is controlling the church – no online presence without their permission nor without restrictive boundaries on what the church can say.

We need to be aware of reality. We should fight for our rights. But I want to stress the best responses to these issues … if you stay in the Word, that’s not fake news or misinformation. Stay in the Word. And about surveillance … we should walk as children of the light. Let them see Jesus in you.

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What issues do you see concerning technology this year?

Adjusting to the Technologically Challenged (or, this is for my mother)

Technology is amazing. With our phones we carry maps, Bibles, internet access, news reports in an instant, thousands of songs and videos, thousands of picture to place on social media outlets, teaching and preaching series, watch TV and movies, keep a datebook, have phonebooks, entire library collections, calculators, and of course, candy crush (or whatever game keeps you busy – for me it is Risk), and lastly, a phone.

But my mother is technologically challenged. She no longer needs a cell phone and can’t figure out a tablet (always forgetting to charge it.) I know she is challenged with short term memory dystopia, and we adjust to that. There is no doubt that family is important – but we don’t make it easy for her. We have moved all over the globe. Until recently, one son was even in Dubai. So getting together is not normal for us. Reunions rarely take place, and visits have to be scheduled. Even me, though I live in the same state – it a seven hour round trip. So it is an all day event to visit even for a short time.

I can not express how grateful I am that my bro, her eldest son, moved closer and is helping in all this now that mother is twice widowed.

But I have discovered a new toy, a piece of technology that will enable all her family to stay connected a bit more … and more than just a phone call. It is a digital frame. Wait, you say. They’ve been around. Yes, but these are WiFi enabled and photos can be shared from a phone by email or simple app.

Click – send – and it shows up on the picture rotation on the frame in her room. It holds 8 gigs on the frame and 50 on the cloud. With a subscription, you can even do small vids (think TikTok for grandma). Entire photo albums can be organized and shared by an app on any phone or tablet, even android based. Some give the date and time. Others even have weather updates. All on an attractive frame that sits on a table near her chair. I can control the frame from wherever I am … turn it on, change settings, and manage all the pics. Pretty cool.

Before this, it took weeks for me to get our son’s wedding pictures to her. But now, it’s there in mere seconds. Already my niece, her granddaughter, has loaded her family’s Christmas pics on the frame … within minutes of the frame being set up – and from three states away.

Now you may still live in the community with your family of seventeen generations, where everyone sees everyone everyday and everywhere. This technology may be unnecessary for you. But for us, I look forward to being connected just a little better. Especially with the technologically challenged.

And if that brings a smile to my mother, it’s worth it.

Have a blessed day.


Post Script. This is not an advertisement. But if you want to know, we went with the NixPlay Smart WiFi Cloud W10F HD frame. There are some with more bells and whistles, some that do less and do more. But this seems to work for us.

iPhone 11 Personal Review

It gets the job done.

I have a problem. I am addicted to technology. My iPhone 11 is just the most recent instrument. It really doesn’t matter what the toy is. Thorough the years I remember looking at my pocket watch, even when I knew the time. True, it was a Looney Toon watch that had a cool case and colorful artwork on the dial, but I opened it, shut it, repeat. In high school, I remember the first Zippo that I would flick, light, close, repeat. (Not a pyromaniac, don’t fret). Constantly looking at a wrist watch made me take them off. Then it was the Palm Pilot, Dell Axim X51, playing snake on the Motorola, and finally the iPhone generation began.

The iPhone 11 is the latest in my line of toys.

Yes, the camera is superb. The audio picks up recording quite well (used it in the recent wedding). Screen resolution is the best I’ve had. The speed phenomenal. I love the quick camera button. And battery life … I do not miss the iPhone 6 and constant charging.

It’s a bit bigger than I am used to. So one handed tinkering is limited. I had to get used to the loss of my home button, but that came quickly. And the screen grab is a little tedious. I’ll get used to that as well I guess. Kind of have to.

I don’t use half the options. I tried to set up Siri as an Aussie – it just stopped talking to me all together. And no matter how much I try, Siri won’t stop saying “umm-hm”. I instructed her to say something else but she ignored that too. Seems to be my way with most women. And the screen is a bit sensitive … as I scroll through articles and news reports, it constantly opens new windows from hyperlinks. Annoying. Way too sensitive at times. But again, so am I. It isn’t cheap. But that might help me take care of it better.

I think it is a great toy, tool, phone. It gives my ADHD mind a distraction and ultimately, it makes and receives phone calls. Though Verizon could put a few more towers up here in rural central Virginia.

My iPhone 11 … It gets the job done.

But it also does a lot more than I need at times, so it needs to sit face down more. That has nothing to do with the phone. That has to do with me. And probably you as well. We’ve become way to engrossed in our phones, tablets, etc. It is great to stay connected and great to have the phone as means for security and peace of mind … but I don’t want it to have control over my mind.

So today, I will challenge myself to turn it over, not look at it as much, and spend more time with people.

We were created for relationships … not with our phones but with people. Will you help me do that? I’ll try help you too. I won’t throw it out the window, I promise.

The God Apps

I had a weird thought – what kind of App would God develop? What would it do? Maybe I watch God Friended Me too much this week.

I did a quick web search to see what was out there. Some of the top hits were …

  • HU: Experience the God Sound. Kind of a mantra, meditative chant and more. Nope.
  • The God TV App. More of a portal to a Christian cable/web channel. Good, but not what I want.
  • The God Test … and God Tools. Two apps to help you share your faith, equip you to deal with searchers and skeptics. Again, good premise, but not hitting my target.
  • The God Box. I like this. Built to accompany a book by the same name. The book writes of a person that wrote encouraging letters and faith cards to lift and assist others in their journey. She would save them in a God Box till she delivered them. This app lets you write notes on the go in electronic format, then send them when you can later. I think I’ll get this. But still, not what I am looking for.
  • Then this showed up – The God App – but it is not an app. It’s a murder mystery book about an app that knows the future. So close but nope.

I would imagine the app would share His love, His Word, and His will for each one of us. I would want a way to submit questions, interact with other app holders, and a way for it to warn us when we get off track – “Ding – please return to the appropriate path. This direction leads to disaster. Thank you.”

It would warn us … “Ding – please return to the appropriate path. This direction leads to disaster. Thank you.”

Part map, part journal, part text book, part philosophy, part future vision, part warning system, part game (after all, that’s what apps I use anyway) … wait, that’s sound a lot like what the Bible is and does (minus the game part). And that is in print, audio, video, apps galore, and more. But it doesn’t need to stay on the phone – it needs to get into our heart.

So today – don’t replace your time in the Bible by spending time in other apps. Get into the Word and let the Word get into you.

Have a blessed day.