Anonymity

14 Mar

A friend and I were having a conversation the other day about anonymity. We discussed the idea that total anonymity is impossible. While we can maintain an anonymous status for a while, he who perverts his way will be found out; and he who does good will also be discovered, but it will not bring as much recognition. Relieving anonymity is about selling goods, products, and a story; people browse, search, purchase, and comment on the Internet thinking they are anonymous, but we are not. Money is to be made in the discovery of secrets, people’s history, and what they want. In the name of commerce or social intercourse, it is increasingly difficult to remain anonymous.

Here is a link to an article about being watched, studied, and monitored for any and every reason with the expansive-increase in surveillance. Surveillance is not just a camera watching us anymore. Now, I know it smacks of conspiracy theory, however, George Orwell’s 1984 is not what’s in mind. After reading the first part of the article the point is clear—we’re being watched; and there is good money in the information gleaned by the watchers. Identifying consumers or criminals is highly useful, so as to best categorize them according to their record, so that the right product will be presented to them or the proper authorities will be called.

After reading the article I immediately began to think about being watched, I experienced a strange, yet all to common desire to behave better—I think I even sat up strait and looked over my shoulder. This impulse is normal, but is it good? Another article presents the idea that we will be better and perform better if we act as if the world were watching. A familiar Thomas Jefferson quote presents the idea of the article, “Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” Through scientific study they determined that people are more ethical in behavior when they think they are being watched. How true, but we don’t need an article like this to prove that people behave differently when others are watching. Ill deeds are done in the dark for a reason—no one can see them, or so we think.

As I wrestled with my flesh the Scriptures bore witness to my soul that it is more important to reckon that Gods is watching. Psalm 139:8 states that, “If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! ” The ‘I’ in this verse is the indomitable God over all. God is watching and always has been. In other words, there is no place that we can get away from God. He is everywhere, and His eyes see all things. 2 Chronicles 16:9 teaches us that God looks over the whole earth to discover the faithful, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” So, who should we be more concerned about watching us? Big Brother? God? The world? Are we to fear man or the One who can destroy both body and soul and cast both into hell?

After all, a knee jerk reaction of self-reform, when we think someone is watching, can be damaging to our soul, as we place the hypocrite’s mask on our face; the motive to behave rightly stems not from love of God and faith in Christ, but out of self-exaltation and self-preservation. In life aren’t the eyes of God–The Judge–greater cause for fear and repentance than the dim eyes of man?

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