I’ve noticed many people lately have posted a link to a video about the danger of having location services on when we take photos with our phones. I confess, when I first watched the video, I was rattled for the first couple minutes. Then I got to the part where it told me that all I had to do to save myself from the certainty of someone hunting me down and doing me ill was to turn off my location services.
Really? That’s all? Ok, that’s the kind of information that you should lead with! Like, “Hey, it’s probably quite unlikely that someone is trolling the internet looking for this, but just in case, you might want to think about turning off your location services if you’re concerned that someone could know where you are.” But that’s not how media works these days, I’ve come to understand since I’m back in the States. This is a culture where we are encouraged to fear.
Fear sells. We’re drawn in to stories that play on our desires to protect those we love. We feel empowered that we could go one step further in ensuring that nothing bad happens to us or them. We feel like we’re being responsible people to buy into the level of concern the media tells us we should have.
Except it’s not real. Most of the time, the threat is nothing close to what they’re telling us it is. But we believe it, and we begin to live out of that fear. I, for one, don’t want to do that, because it takes things away from us.
It takes away trust in our fellow man. It takes away freedom. It takes away life. It takes away energy I could spend thinking about so many other more true things. I’ve learned recently that anxiety, even more than depression, decreases our productivity and our ability to reason. In other words, it doesn’t help us make better choices.
I don’t want to be driven by fear. It becomes a prison that makes our world smaller and smaller. As a believer, I am admonished again and again in scripture not to fear, but to live wisely, to live in faith.
Is there danger in the world? Certainly. Can we protect ourselves and our families from all of it? Never. So how should we respond? Can I suggest we make a choice to stay calm and be wise? Weigh the true risks, make wise choices to do what you can, and then live life fully. That’s what I intend to do.