Sins used to require effort. In biblical times, even sloth meant having to sit around using your imagination. Now, a 1-inch hand gesture is all that separates human kind from the bookmarked sin of choice. The faintest desire for a fix of narcissism sees us pawing through Facebook and Twitter for Likes and retweets. If the task at hand seems daunting, we can hastily retreat to Netflix where we’re only asked to stare. A stray carnal thought can be indulged at any moment thanks to 4Chan and YouPorn.
College Humor’s graphic The 7 Deadly Websites is most fascinating not because it’s clever and accurate, but because the internet has removed the taboo from sin. Go ahead, live vicariously through friends as they post about their hot new spouses and high priced vacations, we’re all on Facebook doing the same thing. It’s openly acknowledged that people use Twitter to experience the pride of celebrity, and why put on pants to go to a restaurant when there’s Seamless and Grub Hub. These services have many redeeming qualities, but they are ripe for misuse.
There are angels trying to save us from ourselves. Asana, Khan Academy, Fitbit, Up. But those take at least some determination. Sean Parker at his wickedly extravagant Spotify party said that “Solving the piracy problem can’t happen if you don’t build a service that’s more convenient than piracy.” The same goes for sin. Until technology makes it easier to stay humble, content, active, and pious than to devolve into corruption, righteousness will be reserved for the strongest of will.