Searching for Our Greatest Need

by Mark Earley

search for the meaning of lifeNo question about it, Google is a marvelous tool. The entire planet uses it, and the gargantuan mountain of information you can find there is growing in depth and breadth daily. Plus, the search engine is only getting faster. But day by day, Google and the Internet-at-large are convincing us that knowledge ought to be at our fingertips; whether it is a map, stock-price, article, quote, or video clip—we start to feel that typing it into a search-bar is all that it should take.

Regarding the search engine giant, the Atlantic Monthly ran a fascinating feature story by Nicholas Carr entitled, "Is Google Making Us Stupid? What the Internet is doing to our brains. As Carr puts it, "the Net seems to be . . . chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles." Carr is right. No wonder we are so crazy about it—it gives us the instant gratification we crave.

While the Scriptures teach us that one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control, Google bombards us with the opposite message: You ought to have what you want when you want it. And when you break it down, instant gratification is really another manifestation of pride.

So not only is Google and search engines in general changing the way we think, they are changing our hearts. Don’t believe me? Pay attention to yourself the next time you type in a search bar. See if these feelings of impatience and a need-to-know don’t crop up a bit…

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