I read this article, My Wife Hates Computers, in which the author lambastes the UN idea of $100 laptops for every child and likens computers & the internet with the Mark of the Beast. I wouldn’t go that far, but he does make some good points. I’m sure the author doesn’t intend that idea to be taken literally because he has his own very extensive website.
Mr. Arnold is very opposed to the idea of young children using computers; suggesting that they stifle creativity and the desire to explore. I would think that they open new vistas of creativity and worlds to explore, but I do think that kids (and adults) can spend too much time on the PC. The important thing is balance: the kids need to explore the real world AND the virtual world. It seems to me that television is a far worse culprit than computers.
The author also mentions that extensive computer use tends to makes us socially isolated. It is a strange paradox how the internet allows us to communicate 24/7 all over the globe with all sorts of people, but it also closes us off from one another. Communication via the internet is a good and useful thing, but I must concur that there is no substitute for face to face hands on human interaction — especially for kids !
Another pitfall of computers & the internet is that we tend to let them dominate our lives even to the point of idolitry; allowing them to take the place of God. I know that I would be “lost” if they suddenly disappeared ! I make my living doing spreadsheets at a public adjusting firm, and my favorite passtime is surfing the web. I have even missed church either because I stayed up too late in some chatroom or I was at my desk drinking coffe and web surfing when it was time to leave for church.
One of the guys in our Bible study group who has teenage kids said that he does not allow computers in his house because he wants to protect his kids. I can understand his concern, but I seriouslly think that banishing the computer from your house is overkill ! Although it will offer some protection from evil influences, it will also put those kids at a disadvantage in school and later in life.
There are a lot of bad things on the internet: a plethora of pornography, hateful propaganda, and ubiquitous advertsing. However there are also many good things there too. I have learned a lot surfing the web, and I have wasted time too. The bottom line is the internet is a tool, and part of our environment. It has good uses and bad uses and can help us or harm us. We must be discerning and responsible so that we can use the web properly.