By Pr Evangeline Cheong
In the 4 November 2023 Singapore Digital Society Report by the Infocom Media Development Authority (IMDA), it was revealed that 99% of Singaporeans have access to the Internet and 97% own a smart phone: surpassing much of Europe and China.
Even as I write this article, I’m doing so on cloud storage while listening to music on YouTube. I cannot imagine going out without my phone now: finding my way to the destination, googling what to eat, finding out when my bus is coming, reading the Bible, getting the latest news straight to my phone, listening to music and watching shows on the train. So much of our lives are lived with the help of our phones, connecting us to work, play and the world!
However, we need to ask, “What has our increased connectivity with the world done to us?” Rushing from one fun thing to another, back problems as we hunch over laptops and phones, working on the go 24-7, always ready to buy something online. New fears surrounding life online: Fears of scam calls from halfway around the world. Fears of strangers taking over our phones with the loss of privacy and OTP numbers, not knowing who and what to trust with so much misinformation at our fingertips. Does your time on your phone and on the internet make you more fearful, irritable, envious, discontent, angry and frustrated? Are you seeing your desires and thoughts becoming more in-line with the world or with God?
It is not that technology and the internet are evil - of course it brings out the worst in man yet we can see that it brings back the best too. I know some Christians who came to know Jesus through a video on YouTube. We get to read our bibles and have the option of it being read to us through audio features. Others spend their mornings on the train listening to worship music or a podcast by a pastor. Prayer apps help us keep track of God’s answers to prayer. We can Zoom call to connect and pray with Christians around the world. We can still worship God together when we are sick on the livestream each Sunday. Does our use of our phones and internet make us more loving, joyful, peaceful, self-controlled and trusting God in this digital world? May our use of the internet and our phones bring glory to God.