Technology and the Lure of the Easy

Man relaxing with laptop

Since I spent the weekend away with my wife, I decided to revive one of my favorite posts from back in 2012 for today’s article. –David

From the moment of the Fall, when the forbidden fruit promised an earlier and easier entrance into bliss, growth, and knowledge, one of Satan’s favorite strategies has been to take some promised good and offer his own version; easier, simpler, and always, in retrospect, somehow diminished and corrupted. The golden calf offered Israel a safer, less demanding God. As Abraham waited for the promised son, Hagar seemed a simple solution to his wife’s infertility. Even Jesus himself was offered a far easier path to dominion if he would only bow before the Evil One.

It’s not that “easy” is necessarily or even usually bad; merely that the appeal of the easy is a powerful lure into danger. One of the best ways to draw us off the straight and narrow path is with a shortcut.

I bring this up because this feeling of an easier path to a lesser good is a theme of many of the problems and potential problems in our interactions with modern technology. The whole appeal of technology lies in its ability to make things easier, whether in communication, calculation, learning, shopping, or transportation. Of course, as I said, easier isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, it’s often good, allowing us to be wise stewards of our resources by saving time and money for other uses. (I certainly appreciate being able to type these observations on the keyboard of a handy laptop, rather than pounding away on a typewriter or scribbling with a pen.) With technology as with the rest of life, the danger lies in the appeal of the easier path to draw us away from the better.

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