The Secret Online Life

Stephen Tapulao

March 22, 2021

“Get what you want in just one click.” 

This has been one of the internet’s unique selling points that attract a lot of people today. In just a snap, we can easily buy items from the safety of our own homes. With just a swipe of a finger, we can easily connect to old friends that are far from our reach. With just one click, we can get exactly what we are looking for. Having our comforts and longings easily granted has been a dream fulfilled for most of us. 

But as powerful and convenient as it all is, this has brought dangers to a lot of people, especially the youth. With the ongoing pandemic, students are forced to stay in their homes—prone to loneliness and isolation. They begin to wander and explore the magic of the internet and use it to temporarily escape from their current realities. Unfortunately, this could lead them to live a covert and unhealthy way of life. 

With what we are going through today, it is easier to live a double life—masking a curated self for the public, but drowning and broken in our secret online life. This isn’t how God created us to be. 

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, 

a holy nation, a people for his own possession,

that you may proclaim the excellencies of him 

who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

The internet should not be someone’s pitfall for destruction and failure. Instead, it should be an open door to foster positive growth, a jumpstart to spread the Good News, and an opportunity to bring people back to God. 

Dangerous Mindsets and Actions

If we are not cautious with what we are doing online, we may be falling into mindsets and actions that will not be beneficial in the long run. Here are some of those: 

“Wala namang nakakakita.”

This mindset goes against the importance of accountability and transparency. Often, we think that no one can actually see what we are doing online, so we proceed without even reflecting on our actions. 

Though we are not seen in public, God sees everything we do. As His followers, our heart’s desire is to always honor His name, both in public and in private. 

“Ginagawa rin naman ng iba.”

The pressure of this world has always been one of the major factors we choose to live a covert online life. Most of the time, we go with the flow and do what the majority does—even if it goes against our values and beliefs. If this mindset is continued, we may be forming an unhealthy habit of making decisions based on the world’s views and opinions.  

As believers, we are called to live a life that reflects God’s character. This calling will sometimes go against the norm and the culture we grew up in. But to live for God, not for men, should be our primary goal in life. 

“Wala namang mawawala.”

Sometimes, the dangers and consequences of living a secret online life are not immediately felt. We are wrong if we think that living a double life has no serious consequences to our lives.

But if we continue to open unhealthy applications and do actions unchecked online, our hearts may be hardened to where God is leading us. We may be gaining what is seemingly satisfying at the moment, yet take a step further away from God.

What Should We Do Next?

Admitting how unhealthy living a secret online is just the first step. We should then ask, “What should I do next?”

1. Honor God 24/7.

Our public adoration of God should stay consistent with our private devotion to Him. We can’t live a double life—loving God and sin at the same time. We are to honor God and become averse to what’s displeasing to Him at all times. God should always be at the center of everything we do from Mondays to Sundays, week in and week out, day and night, in the midst of crowds around or even during our alone times.

2. Be busy with your God-given purpose.

People say that you prioritize what you value. When we focus our eyes on our God-given purpose, we won’t have time for worthless temptations. We are called to influence the world, and not be influenced by it. When we intentionally fill our minds with the things of God, we inevitably empty our minds of sinful pleasures.

3. Stay connected 

Since temptations are everywhere, it is best and wise to find a community that will help us make God-honoring decisions. These people will serve as our “guardrails” to help us flee from compromising and unhealthy situations. Transparency to our godly and trusted friends are of utmost importance as we walk and grow in our relationship with God. 

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5

God has called us from darkness to light. In Him, there is no hint of darkness at all. This isn’t just an external state, but an inside-out transformation for all of us—loving God fully and hating sin at all times. As God’s children, we are to live for Him and stay away from everything that will diminish our light towards the people around us. 

Let us remember that God called us to shine our light before men and not live in darkness and secrecy. Having a secret life online may be pleasurable at the moment, but it is nothing compared to the pleasure of living for Him, being at the center of His will and not hiding anything.

 

 

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The Author

Stephen Tapulao

Stephen is one of the new campus missionaries in Every Nation Campus Caloocan. Originally,  he wanted to become a lawyer, but then God called him to full-time campus ministry. He loves listening to life stories, asking questions, and spending time with people. At first, you will recognize him as the quiet one in the corner. But then, as he gets comfortable, you'll be unable stop him from talking and sharing his insights. 

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