Living in a digital age where information is of abundance can be quite a challenge. A challenge because every time we turn on our laptops or smartphones, we are faced with chances to sin.
To sin is to deliberately violate a religious or moral law, to put it. Maslow and his hierarchy of needs already informed you that self-actualization (that includes morality) is a need. And needs have to be fulfilled.
On the other hand, religion has painted its morbid consequence of sinning like the hot fires of hell for example. With that, you would never want to sin.
Today, I saw this image (on the left) shared on a bookmarking site and I loved how they presented the seven capital sins which I tagged as digital sins. These was originally shared at the College Humor as The Seven Deadly Websites for those of you who want the source.
If you are familiar with the internet, you might know the name of some or all of these sites. The first one is very easy to guess. What else could it be? It’s Facebook, of course.
But my friend Hero even said that you can commit all these sins on Facebook itself: envy, sloth, greed, pride, gluttony, wrath, lust. Your mileage may vary.
The specific sin that I want to write about is envy.
The way they presented envy as a 666 notification looks deadly enough but if you look closer, you will be amazed at what that represents.
That first icon is no one else but you, happily browsing around Facebook and watching the ticker stream by with the various activities and updates from friends and “friends”.
What could be more fun to do on Facebook. That’s you typing your own happy status blurb. It’s you updating your latest check in to a fancy restaurant in the city.
Well, that’s until you did the second icon: You saw, read, looked.
- Your friend checked in a more expensive restaurant that you have never been to in your life.
- Your competitor launched a website for a reputable client you could never have.
- A friend of friend just posted his six-figure earnings from an MLM company. You could never earn that with your 9-5 job.
- Your ex-girlfriend just posted a photo of her newborn baby girl. You don’t even have a girlfriend now.
- Your brother is announcing his travel plans for the world to see. You only have enough cash to pay next month’s bills without depriving yourself of an internet connection.
- Your neighbor sent an event invite to his beach wedding with a girl you had crush on back in college.
And now, your world just turned upside down. Your updates have only garnered the ‘like’ of your mom who tracks your every move with a well thought of motherly advice to your dismay. And your cat photo has only lasted a day of attention from your officemates who still think that you never truly deserve that promotion last month.
Now, there is really nothing wrong with seeing your friends and neighbors’ activities. But to covet them (and deprive yourself of happiness) is something else. I must say – Hey, you have just sinned on Facebook! And the third icon represents the people who you might want to inflict misfortunes on because of envy – that friend, that competitor, that ex-girlfriend, your brother, that neighbor.
I would not want to argue when you say “Well, it’s not like I killed anyone.” You didn’t, that’s right. But this kind of envy caused about by low self-esteem can cause unhappiness. And unhappiness has its consequences. The worst of this, in my opinion, is suicide.
How to cope? I have one advice: Log off Facebook. Count your blessings.
What’s your advice for Facebook-induced envy?