Above are some links to advertisements for the iPhone. The first two are commercials. They show how cool the iPhone is. They focus on a single feature that the new phone offers. They make you think, “Wow! How cool! If it can do this, what else can it do?” Well obviously you are intrigued and want one. But before you make the huge financial commitment to this purchase you decide, “I’ll be smart and responsible. I will check out the official iPhone website to further invetigate.” Wow. Would you look at that? Just look at it (third link). The page displays EVEN MORE features of the phone. And what’s this? You can click another link to see even more. Well by this time you are pretty set on buying this product. With all of its features it could probably help you in virtually every aspect of your life. If you are bored you can play a game. If you need to pay bills, go to that app. If you are lonely, you always have a friend in Siri. This phone can do anything….
Well now my question is, do you really want it to do everything? Most people probably don’t understand the full capabilities of devices such as the iPhone. Do you really want a 24/7 tracker on you? The cell phone has become the number one item to keep on you at all times. If you forget it while leaving your house, nine times out of ten you will return for it. While reading about this in “Brandwashed,” I was shocked. I might even say appalled. Who knew that our best friends (our phones) would sell us out to those big companies like that? And our phones are only the beginning of the end of privacy. When you combine our locations via our phone with our interests via internet tracking and billing records, they have a pretty good idea of who you are.
Now I guess I can only speak for myself, but I imagine I’m not too far off from the average Joe. I don’t like this. Not one bit. I like my privacy. To find out some stranger is selling my information to another stranger is honestly eerie. But Why? Should it bother us?
Psalms 139:2 is one verse that came to mind. But I think a better one for this purpose is Hebrews 4:13 “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” God sees and knows everything. He knows what we do every moment of everyday. He is omniscient. Not even a thought escapes him. Even with all of these advancements in technology, that profile created by that company cannot even come close to the profile God already has.
So if I live according to the word I shouldn’t be afraid of what people know. If I don’t want people to know of what I am doing then I also shouldn’t want God to know. Well, since God is omniscient, the best (only) way is to not do it. If we live our lives for God every day of every week then we should be able to embrace this loss of privacy. We never had privacy to begin with.
Now here comes the big but…. But I still like privacy. Everyone has moments of weakness. Everyone fails from time to time. And I don’t think that has to be public knowledge. People can have a rough past, but that doesn’t mean that it should be used to judge them in the future. God offers forgiveness that people simple can’t understand. God forgives sins, but humans tend to dwell on them. People hold grudges. They cast stereotypes. I think privacy should be protected on the basis that we need to be able to break free from our pasts. We need to be able to be forgiven for mistakes and have the ability to start anew.
But our society continues to move toward a world where privacy is a thing of the past. I don’t agree with the way things are headed, but what can I do. I can use it as an excuse to do the right thing. I can use it as a reminder, a reminder that God is also watching. My internet history may be being tracked by people but my thoughts are being tracked by God. If we are losing privacy, the best solution I can think of is to embrace it. Use it to better yourself. Use it as an excuse to do the right thing. Use it to become closer to God.