While surfing for deals over the "Black Friday" weekend, I came across an outrageous deal on the new Adobe Photoshop software. I quickly thought up of a list of people that would love to have this program. But my grin turned to chagrin when it occurred to me that the people that I thought would likely use this program, would also likely just download the torrent for free. And most of my friends are Christian... =/
I often ask the youth at my church, "How are you different from the world?" Aren't we, as Christians, suppose to be striving for something better? Aren't we suppose to be a shining light, a reflection of His glory? Aren't we suppose to be... I don't know...different? Yet when we're on the internet... actually not just that, when we are using our wonderful electronic devices, are we more Christ-like? Or more world-like?
A high school student at my church went to a secular concert a few weeks ago. The headliner was a group that recently got some national notice. My student wasn't a fan of theirs until she went to the concert. When she came back, that's all she could talk about. I listened to her talk about how great their sound was, how she was a big fan now and how she has their whole album. Having a personal interest in supporting independent music I asked her, "Oh really, you bought their whole album?"
She turned to me sheepishly, "Uhh.. no. I downloaded it."
Of course! What was I thinking? She's a true hard core fan in the modern era.
I get saddened when I have conversations with today's youth and find that they actually look down upon people who pay for movies, music, basically anything that can be downloaded. I often hear things like, "Ewww, you paid for that?" And "I know it's still in theatres, but I have it on DVD already." Coming from the first generation to really grow up with the internet, I've illegally downloaded many an mp3 in my day. And so, the shame of the hypocrisy often keeps my mouth glued shut. But at least I knew I was doing something wrong, and I admit it. I'm trying to become independent, but there is a huge culture out there that finds nothing wrong with illegal downloads at all. It's a right! I'd be foolish not to.
The internet has become a haven for immorality. As soon as a child learns how to turn the "safe search" off of Google and how to delete the history on their internet browser, a whole world of sin is at their finger tips. And nobody will know anything about it. Unless the parent invests in a special program to protect their children.
What is on your iPod? Does the "i" stand for "illegal" or "immoral"? If you have children, do you know what they are downloading? Do you know that they are stealing? What kind of examples are we setting for the youth? Do we have more burnt DVD's, than original DVD's? Do we have gigabytes worth of stolen mp3's? Did you "jail break" your iPhone?
How can we expect our kids to be different, if we're just like everyone else? We gotta take a stand some where. I honestly believe that cyber stealing (illegally downloading copyrighted material) is directly linked to cyber bullying and sexting. It's this idea that I can do anything on the internet, it's a safe haven for my immoral deeds. No one is going to regulate me, no one is going to stop me.