Losing our identities to the collective cyber unknown
My daughter gives us updates about her friend whose identity was stolen with the result that many areas of her life and activity have been so compromised that she is losing hope that she will ever recover. She is not even sure exactly how it happened. She admits she may have invited some of the problem because she has often been trusting of people who were not worthy of her trust.
Nonetheless, she now finds herself trapped in a seemingly inescapable maze that has also reached out and touched her parents and perhaps cyberworld contacts whose information was accessed through her cell phone. I expect that she is not alone; I also expect to see a manifold increase in people who have similar experiences, at times with tragic results including suicide.
We’ve only ourselves to blame. We have so embraced the technology that allows us instant access to almost anything that we failed to anticipate the intended consequences that surfaced later, too much later now that we have become accustomed to the speed with which we can gratify every lust and whim of the present. Soon, if we haven’t already, we will see behavioral health programs marketed toward people suffering identity theft anxiety crisis.
I read that if I’m browsing Amazon and hesitate at an item, holding my cursor over it for a short time, algorithms at the online behemoth start churning to determine whether that item is in a warehouse near me and start moving it toward that warehouse if it’s not. I read it some months ago, so that capability has probably been eclipsed by now with even more intuitive technology.
I enjoy reading the Amplified Bible, occasionally finding in it useful commentary alongside King James’ or American Standard’s version of a verse or text. In it I found an expansion of the phrase “pride of life” that is one of the characteristics of the things of this world (along with the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh) that “do not come from the Father, but are from the world.”
Pride of life is expanded as follows: “pretentious confidence in one’s own resources or the stability of earthly things.”
Hold that thought as we increasingly give ourselves — our identities — over to the cyber unknown.