Ever said something where as soon as it left your mouth you wished you could grab it and pull it back in? Yeah, me too. In fact it happens way more often than I’d like to admit. We know the deal- James goes into great detail about how dangerous the words we say can be. Paul instructs Timothy to watch his life and doctrine closely. We know how much words can hurt or how they can build us up and encourage us. But somehow those stupid things just keep coming out.
Now, imagine that hurtful thing that you just said and instead of one person hearing it, a million people hear it. Welcome to the internet. Recently, Wired magazine ran a contest where author Evan Ratliff tried to disappear for a month while readers were encouraged to track him down. As the contest went on, it was amazing the amount of information that people were able to find about Evan from searching online. Armed only with the internet and time to kill, searchers were able to build an amazingly accurate profile of Evan. Eventually this information lead to him being found.
As I watched the contest unfold, it really brought home the idea that in the digital age, privacy is a thing of the past. Those blog posts, tweets and emails don’t disappear. And when we put something out there on the internet, it’s out there for anyone to see. Where once a careless word was only able to impact those standing close enough to hear it (or those who caught it 2nd or 3rd hand as the gossip train rumbled down the tracks… that’s a totally different story) now anyone who has a digital “ear to hear” can pick up what you’re laying down.