I never really watched the television series Lost in Space. I think that SyFy played reruns when I was growing up but I was far more interested in the crew of the Enterprise than the crew of the Jupiter 2. Even though I never watched the show, I do know about the family’s robot protector and its catchphrase, “Danger, Will Robinson!”
It’s interesting that in the 1960s there was a piece of technology warning humans about impending danger. When we look at technology today, we realize that technology is the danger of which we need to be warned.
There was a news story in my community yesterday of a male high school student tweeting out nude pictures of female students from another high school. The boy did it because he wanted to get more followers on Twitter. As the case is being investigated, it’s possible that everyone involved, the boy and the female students, could face charges of child pornography.
In another story I read, someone was able to find all of the pictures allegedly deleted by the social networking app Snapchat. If you’re not aware, Snapchat is an app that allows users to send pictures back and forth to each other with the promise that the picture is viewable for a few seconds and then permanently deleted. Someone found out that in this case permanently doesn’t really mean permanently.
I love technology, especially social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blogging have made the world a much smaller place. Because of social media we are able to interact with a wider variety of people and connect with individuals on the other side of the world. Social media are tremendous tools for encouraging others, sharing about Jesus and spreading God’s kingdom into the farthest reaches of cyberspace.
Unfortunately, as we can see from these examples and countless others, we need to heed the warning of the Robinsons’ robot. For all of their benefits, social media also hold tremendous dangers. If we don’t make wise choices with social media we could end up making a mistake that costs us our reputation, influence and future. I think about these issues a lot because of my work with adolescents, but we all need to acknowledge the dangers that come along with the benefits of social media.
It would be great to have a robot shouting, “Danger! Danger!” when we’re using social media. We’ll probably never have that luxury, though, so we’ll just have to depend on discernment, wisdom and the grace to make wise choices.
What benefits have you seen in social media? What dangers?