Television, computers, smartphones, Facebook, twitter, Skype, apps of every kind and convenience, along with other social media technology I am not even aware of, have become so embedded in our daily lives and behaviour, that we suffer from withdrawal symptoms when we are not connected to the invisible energy and the ingenious tools that make all this possible.
For all the positive advantages provided by the genius of this technology, we easily slide into habits of overuse and abuse. The consequences of this addiction are yet to be explored and defined.
One of the consequences of this easy buy-in to the messaging of this new technology, along with the convenience and privilege it offers, is the loss of privacy and the insidious control it begins to inflict on those who enthusiastically consent to the worship of the golden calf.
Because we are all human, we become captured by our addiction for more and the service to our wants rather than to our own basic needs and the needs of those who have nothing.
Populist leadership and dictators understand this. Technology becomes their tool for control. Democracy becomes directed from the top rather than from the collective sanity of responsible and critical thinking citizens. We become sheep, simply following and answering to the technological bell.
The Christmas season is a good example of how all this latest technology can be used, more to exploit than to serve the collective good. The hype and buzz of the season promote an overindulgence of consumerism and noise. The simple and sincere energy of peace and goodwill is skilfully extracted from the Christmas narrative by every source of technological tool invented. Wherever one goes, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, along with a variety of other Christmas carols can be heard blending in with the visible decorations of special Christmas sales. Little is spared in the art of persuasion. One is convinced that the spirit of giving can be satisfied by the behaviour of buying. The simple, humble and loving images framed by the Christmas narrative of peace, goodwill and a generous heart are used as a backdrop for sales. The tools of technology are professionally used to amplify the desire to act on this generous spirit by the convenient use of the credit card. We become victims of buyer’s remorse when all the bills start to come in following the holiday season.
I believe that in our hearts we are all generous people and Christmas is a season that confirms my belief in the goodness inherent in each of us. So much good is expressed by so many at this time of year.
If you wish to give and spend a few dollars, please consider many of the charities that are in the front lines of giving and know that your simple, loving act is in the true spirit of the Christmas narrative.
Merry Christmas and Blessings for the New Year.
Wilf Borgstede, St. Albert