Beware of the Frankenstein effect PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 March 2018 12:39

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

WE have to be most wary of the so-called Frankenstein effect of our new technologies. As defined by some dictionary, the Frankenstein effect is “any agency or creation that slips from the control of and ultimately destroys its creator.” It is like a sweet poison, a friendly fire.

We cannot deny that many of our wonderful inventions, the new technologies and gadgets that have given us tremendous advantages and conveniences, have spoiled and practically destroyed lives of many people, especially the young ones who are very vulnerable since they do not know yet the art of prudence and self-discipline in their use.

No wonder some prominent people involved in the making and selling of these new technologies and gadgets regret making or selling them because of the great harm and damage these things have caused.

Some of them even have gone to the extent of refusing to use these gadgets anymore. Or they prohibit their children to use them especially while in the bedroom, for example, where they are most vulnerable.

But these disturbing developments should not translate into banning all these technologies and gadgets altogether. What they should provoke and inspire is for us to make serious effort to teach and learn prudence and self-discipline in the use of these things.

And there’s only one main principle we have to follow for all of us to learn prudence and self-discipline in this regard. And that is that we all train ourselves to be God-centered. If we are not clear about this or are weak in this area, there is no way we can derive a true good from these wonderful human inventions.

We cannot over-emphasize what Christ said in this regard. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” (Mt 6,33) We have to do everything so that this clear indication of Christ becomes our fundamental attitude toward our worldly affairs, and especially toward our use of the new technologies.

Let’s hope that we can live out what Psalm 27,7-9 says: “Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me. When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.’ Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!”

It’s good that we carve these words deep in our heart so we can always recall them especially in our times of difficulty or trouble. But more than that, we should try to build up our desire to see Christ in everything, in everyone and in every situation, good or bad.

Everyday, let’s see to it that what drives us is the desire to seek Christ. From the moment we wake up in the morning till the time when we are about to retire, let us keep that desire strong and vibrant. That is the only way we can avoid the pitfalls of our weaknesses, the many temptations around and the consequences of sin, both ours and those of others.

He should realize that it’s when we are vitally united and identified with Christ that we would experience the peace that only Christ can give and not the way the world gives peace. Besides peace, we can experience a deep sense of confidence and security despite the difficulties we have to face.

Most of all, we can manage to be prudent and disciplined in the use of the many fascinating worldly inventions and thus avoid getting spoiled and destroyed by them. We can avoid the Frankenstein effect!