Have you ever wondered how much control you have over the information you allow into your world?
I have been pondering this question since reading this in Mary Hess‘s Engaging Technology in Theological Education: “[Technology} makes it seem possible to control my environment to a large extent. It makes it seem possible to choose how and with whom my children and I will interact. I am convinced that such control is illusory, but it is a highly seductive illusion, and it comes at a high price.” Can I control my environment through technology? If not, what price do I pay for believing that I can?
I don’t watch much television, or listen to the radio much, or read any newspapers. I get most of my current events information from word of mouth, online news sources, and links in my Facebook newsfeed. I have good reasons for not engaging these media as my main source of news but I had not thought out all the consequences of so narrowly limiting my exposure to the world. Have I excised the voices unlike my own from my life’s newsfeed? If so, then how do I encounter the richness of God’s creation?
If not, then what price am I paying by believing the illusion? Hess points to the environmental price of not seeing my American consumption and the role it plays for the people in poverty of the world. I think there is a more personal price as well. I lose a vital corrective lens when I start believing in the illusion of control. Control will fail and then I am knocked off my center by the mere presence of that which I have banned from my vision.
What do you think? Can you really control your view of the world through the technology by which you receive information? If not, what price do you pay for living the lie?