If the question posed in the headline above strikes you as curious or confusing, you aren’t alone. I was initially puzzled by the headline on the essay that prompted this post, too.
Fr. Dwight Longnecker was in Italy recently where he paused to look around at the throng of people and noticed how “the universal ubiquity of the smart phone hit home. Everybody has one. Chinese tourists, American sightseers, Muslim women in burkhas, children and old women, beautiful Italian teens, thugs with tattoos, and charming African nuns.
“Everybody has an iPhone and everybody has their nose stuck to the screen. Not only are their noses stuck to the screen, but there seems to be an odd obsession with taking photographs of everything all the time. (Remember when you only had 24 or 36 shots in a roll of film?)”
Hmmm. Longnecker goes on to note the manner in which we all keep our noses on our screens held before us, even as we walk without looking into potentially dangerous places:
“You have heard of the ‘temple prostitutes’ who gave themselves to serve the demons of desire. They prostituted themselves. And so do we. Instead of carved statues of Adonis or Venus, images of horned chimeras, monstrous hybrids or six-armed, blood-sucking goddesses from hell, we have technology.
“Designed with amazing ingenuity and carved with utmost skill from precious materials, we have created for each person his own hand-held idol. Each one of us has a little god who offers us the world in the palm of our hand.”
Now that’s an interesting thought. And his essay is rich with additional interesting thoughts that will make your time reading it well-spent. Enjoy. Then take the HillFaith Survey below.
Longnecker, by the way, is an Oxford graduate and comes from Amish roots. It’s a long road from the Dutch country to Oxford.
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