While working on researching for a paper for my Intro to Computers (My easy A class) I ran into an excellent article about the 10 Commandments and their application to the digital age. These are some great bits of advice for us all to follow whether or not you adhere to the original 10 “Thou Shalt Not”s. So without further adieu…
The First Commandment 2.0: You shall have no other gods, so don’t treat your cellphone like one
At church. At restaurants. At the park where your kids are playing. As soon as that little gadget rings do you grab it and ignore the important thing right in front of you or do you hit the silent button and enjoy what’s going on around you. Here’s a scary statistic; CNN reports research that Facebook users are using the site 14+ times per day! Time to heart check who your God is.
The Second Commandment 2.0: You are not to misuse the name of your God, nor misuse language online or offline
It’s impossible to avoid a world that curses G-D or OMG or Jesus Christ in vain. Yes, saying, “Oh my God!” is taking his name in vain, but avoiding those phrases doesn’t mean you’ve upheld the commandment. We tend to be kind face-to-face, but as soon as we get on YouTube and see a FAIL video we can become another person and say some very unbecoming things. Keep it clean folks, we are accountable for every word; spoken or typed.
The Third Commandment 2.0: Honor the Sabbath day; give the gadgets a rest
The world calls to us all day every day in this mobile society, so it might be an enjoyable and much needed observation to turn off your phone for a day. I’ve done this before. It’s hard. Very hard. But it is so refreshing to disconnect. The Sabbath day is holy. Enjoy it.
The Fourth Commandment 2.0: Before reposting or sharing, fact check— this makes your father and your mother very happy
Nothing is worse than bad information. Warm root-beer is a close second. Remember all those really horrible forwards people would send? Posting the same misinformation on Twitter or Facebook is the same thing. Snopes.com is a decent place to double check if Windex really does fix everything.
The Fifth Commandment 2.0: You shall not kill, so of course you shall use the Internet for peace
Did you know that a safe and calculated guess of the amount of deaths by drone is over 3,000? Did you know that those attacks are done by computer? That statistic alone is enough for you and I to be sure to be peaceful citizens of the world wide web. Sign an online petition, find a group online that volunteers in your community, give to a charity online. Support good.
The Sixth Commandment 2.0: You shall not multi-life— you only have one after all
Switchfoot has a good song regarding this commandment called “This is Your Life.” The chorus asks the audience, “Are you who you want to be?” This commandment is a hard one to adhere to for me. Video games are fun but they haven’t made me who I want to be. We only have so much time. I can promise you that at the end of your life you will not wish for more time online. There is no reset button on this game called life; so lets start living like we know we only have one shot.
The Seventh Commandment 2.0: Steal neither goods nor time from yourself and others
If you’ve gone to a movie theatre in the last decade you’ve seen the obnoxious commercial that says, “You wouldn’t steal a car, CD, DVD, etc…So don’t steal online.” The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) says regarding digital music theft, “One credible study by the Institute for Policy Innovation pegs the annual harm at $12.5 billion dollars in losses to the U.S. economy as well as more than 70,000 lost jobs and $2 billion in lost wages to American workers.” Those number are staggering. It doesn’t include indentity theft, DVD rental theft, or other online piracy. You would hate to work hard on a project at work and then have it stolen without being paid by your employer. Golden rule baby.
The Eighth Commandment 2.0: To help you not bear false witness as you have access to new ideas and technologies, help others gain access as well
“In our world of new technology, including FactCheck.org, Wikipedia, eletronic newspapers, YouTube, and so many other websites and technologies facilitating truth-telling, it is imperative that we work to close the digital divide,” says Copeland. This commandment is an odd one to me. I’m just not sure how I can personally apply it since I do not have control of the price points of technology. However, having a sense of equality and bringing everyone in the world up-to-speed technologically is important. Seriously, who wants to be stuck using AOL dial-up?
The Ninth Commandment 2.0: You shall not covet your neighbor’s possessions
The Tenth Commandment 2.0: You shall use technology to love all— not covet, but love— (yes, even those people)
Samsung and Apple make these two commandments at least entertaining with their commercials. The competition they deliver in advertising is hilarious. Whenever I see the newest device released I want to touch it’s shiny screen. As if my greasy fingers will make an impact on the device, which will cause it to hate it’s master, run away, and find it’s true love with me as owner. There is great joy when we can be content with what we have. The roots of jealousy can dive deep into our soul if we keep things we don’t own on the forefront of our possessions. This can lead to feelings of ill-will toward the people who own the product. People should always be more valuable than things. If you find that your relationships take the back seat to your technology it might be the right time to enact the third commandment of Sabbath from digital stuff so that your priorities settle back into their rightful place.
These 10 commandments are a means of guiding us toward right living. They are not a check-list for us to justify ourselves by.
Here are a few questions I’d love to hear back from you on…
- If you could add a commandment 2.0 what would it be?
- Which of these is your strength or weakness?
In the batters circle: Bene Dict and the Monky Bunch.
Thanks so much to Adam J. Copeland for the original list! Follow him @ajc123
Adam J. Copeland is a self described "INTJ, coffee shop-loving, book-reading, NPR-listening, question-asking college religion faculty member and PhD student living in Moorhead, Minn." He blogs at A Wee Blether, http://adamjcopeland.com.
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