Written by: Conrade Yap
Date: 25 August 2011
“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (James 2:8)
It is a great time not being connected to the Internet world for a week. Time away from the busyness of life offers a wonderful opportunity to connect with people in other ways. We talk. We slow down. We pace ourselves with one another through friendly chats, and honest sharing. Without the distraction of the Internet, we see more of real faces instead of computer screens. We all need a technological Sabbath from time to time. It is an opportunity to say to technology in the face: “Thou shalt have no hold on me.”
Interestingly, when we travel, my kids will ask where they can get WiFi. Sigh. I am also guilty of it too. We can take technology away from our hands, but it is harder to take technology out of our minds. Thus, my week of technological Sabbath is only partially successful. We succumb to a periodic search for WiFi signals that are free or unlocked. It is like technology seducing us, “If you want me, search for me.”
For me, there are downsides to not being connected for a week. For example, I missed out on the HP Touchpad fire sale. Announced about three days ago, the highly revered computer company decided to clear its stockpile of unsold Touchpad tablets at an amazing price of $99 for its cheapest model. That is an 80% discount! Of course, at the magical price of $99, the Touchpad became an overnight bestseller. People sit up and pay attention when they smell a good deal. For me, having worked for HP before, it makes me kind of sad to see a good engineering product just snapped up by people looking for cheap deals. Mind you, the cost of manufacturing the HP Touchpad is way more than $99. Some estimates it to be a little more than $300 per tablet. In a consumerist society, the Internet is a great tool for checking out great deals. We just need to be careful of financial scams and frauds. In an age of scamming, spoofing, and spamming, it is getting more difficult to distinguish truth on the Internet. From being selected for a huge financial windfall, to wonderful offers for the Viagra pill, all kinds of trash are being distributed on the Internet every minute.
Since it is hard to run away from technology, try two things. First, embrace it cautiously. Second, be neighbourly when using it.