Wednesday, August 25

The Guise of Anonymity

The Internet casts a hazy mist of anonymity over everything I do. No one is ever watching; there's no way anyone can find out; no one will ever know. I can go anywhere and the only thing that follows me is a temporary IP address. And that can even shift with a proxy. No trace left behind. No consequences, no effects.

In some cases, the seeming anonymity is a good thing. It gives me the ability to write entries in this blog without needing to share my identity with the world. I can speak my mind and share the gospel without having to break down the barriers imposed by reality. You can read this blog without having to do the same thing. But that same sense of anonymity makes the Internet a dangerous place... where it is all too easy to do things I would never do in public, believing that no one is watching... that no one will ever find out.

In reality, anonymity is just a guise. Computers store browsing information in cookies, hidden Flash objects, and search histories. Internet Service Providers keep automatic logs of information that passes through their network. Websites track and store information about everyone that visits them, from computer hardware and software to IP addresses that can be tracked, with time codes, to a home address.

Regardless of electronic privacy, God knows what is happening. And He doesn't keep secrets. There have been many times when, while counseling friends or strangers, I've been able to see into their hearts and know the trials they face - without their ever voicing them. With that knowledge, I can better help them to learn to be happy and come unto Christ.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter who on Earth knows my actions. If no one ever knows who I am, God will still know me. And He will judge me according to the good and bad in my life. He's always watching. The consequences of my actions will eventually catch up to me, which means that, if I'm going to do something in secret, it better be good.

1 comment:

  1. I like the phrase at the end of this entry- "If I do something in secret, it better be good." I will work on that one this week.


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