Bianca Bosker's Huffington Post article on the social network app Instagram provides yet more evidence of man's inherent capacity to corrode the good gifts of life. Instagram, the photo-sharing app, is technologically morally neutral. Indeed at its best it should not only deliver “fast" and "beautiful” ways to exchange images but should be an active conduit for positive innovation and creativity. But the app once heralded as the "Eden of social networking sites" is now threatened with the dark nature of its users:
It’s the place where 80 million people share picturesque, gently-tinted photos of bouquets, sunsets, spaghetti and cappuccinos. And it’s a service Facebook paid $1 billion to bring into its fold. But beyond the food porn that regularly tops Instagram’s “most popular” list lurks an abundance of, well, porn porn. Images tagged with terms such as “sextagram,” “instaporn,” and “handbra” summon up tens of thousands of images of genitalia and nude — or nearly naked — men and women posing provocatively in beds, in bathrooms, or with a partner in a similar state of undress….Instagram is being used not only as a way to exchange X-rated images, but also a place for sex chat partners to find each other, offering a glimpse at how cybersex has adapted to the social media age. Via photos, comments and hashtags, many Instagram members are inviting other users to join them for “KikSex” on the messaging app Kik, where individuals can chat privately or exchange nude photos.
This shouldn't surprise us because every new social network has been accompanied by such developments. The more users the larger the sample becomes representative of the average person. As Terri Senft, a professor specializing in global media at New York University’s Department of Liberal Studies observes : “If something bills itself as non-pornographic then becomes that way, to me it’s a sign that it’s reached the public knowledge-base, and now it’s solidly there.” The reason is that man is totally depraved and therefore everything he touches no matter how good becomes corrupt. Indeed, it is even much bleaker because the Bible tell us that man has a tendency not only to corrupt everything he touches, but to actively seek new ways of corrupting things. As new technologies are invented, others are actively working to find ways of how to use those technologies to multiply sin. We are by nature workers of iniquity. St Paul writing to the church in Rome describes man’s sinful posture as follows :
Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarrelling, deception, malicious behaviour, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents”. [Romans 1:28-30, NLT]
Once again we find that what the media pundits and social experts of this age try and understand, God has already made it plainly clearly in the Bible. It is therefore to God we must look for an answer. Technological filters wont do. Hopes of creating an Eden on earth by our own hands, whether on line or in the real world are delusions of grandeur. It is only God himself who is able to change our hearts so that we are no longer drawn to a life that endlessly seeks to invent new ways of sinning. Only he can draw us to a life that seeks to live in a way that honours Him and builds a better world.