Thursday, April 03, 2008
Online Anonymity and the Real You
We live in a brave new world. In the "old days" (Just saying that makes you sound like an old fuddy-duddy:)) to have a secret life you had to be a secret agent or at least be a very sneaky type of a person. Now with the age of the internet practically every other person is living a secret life online. There are secret chats, secret blogs, secret "face book" or "MySpace" pages, secret visits to secret websites. Most people would be appalled if every one who knew them in the "real world" also new all about them in the "cyber world." The question I want to bring up is: Which person is the real you: the online version or the “real world” version. What I have noticed is that people seem to be much more free and unencumbered online. The internet has become a place to express yourself. I would argue that the online version of your self is more accurate reflection of your true self. Some would say that it is just a chance to act out a different personality, but, if you think about it, people often do online what they wish they could do in real life. In other words if people could act a certain way and not be held responsible for it, then they would. Internet has given just such an opportunity.
The Word of God anticipates this struggle when it says in Proverbs:
Proverbs 23:7For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you.NASB95
The expression of yourself online is a product of the expression of yourself in your mind: and that is the real you!
So who are you, really?
We need to come to grips with who we really are, so that we can understand what we really need. This is every man’s true need:
Acts 26:20 … repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.NASB95
Acts 4:12“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”NASB95
John 14:6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.NASB95