OWNING YOUR AUTONOMOUS SELF

Sometimes, when you forget a password (and frankly, which email address you even used to create an account several years ago), a company will lock you out for a time to prevent hackers accessing your login information. I recently forgot a password, tried too many attempts which tripped an algorithm, and suffered a permanent consequence—indefinitely locking myself out of my professional social media network. At first, I was devastated. It sounds silly to mourn the loss of something so superficial, but I only ever used the platform for professional reasons in the exact way the user agreement asks. With no “real human” customer support and no way to provide evidence that I am who I say I am, the account was not only restricted but entirely removed. I felt like I ceased to exist, professionally, suddenly. But here’s the thing: I was using an unpaid membership to a free platform that gave me a false sense of owning my online presence, while really a huge corporation ultimately owns my posts, photos, insights, links, and history. 

We present ourselves online, thinking that we own that online self. We have a false sense of autonomy. Some of us are addicted to checking our status updates, posting something helpful or interesting, and messaging others. We are, however, owned by the companies allowing us to post on and interact with their platforms! That online self is under complete control and can instantly cease to exist.

Similarly, God is omnipotent and omniscient, but does not wield power over us. He allows us to simply live and exercise our free will. He lets us create our “profile” and share ourselves in the manner we choose to present, acting however we choose to act, and interacting with whomever we choose to engage. He lets us own our autonomy. For this mercy, we should be thankful! It’s easy to take for granted our free will, but we should consider the ramifications of not having that luxury in our lives. It’s worth reflecting on Jesus’s own words, “But who do you say that I am?” and thinking about not only who He is, but who we are. Who we want to be, and definitely how we exist and share ourselves regarding our online presence.

MORE BY THIS AUTHOR

CULTURE

At the National Eucharistic Congress, Decided Excellence Catholic Media - with the help of Bishop William Waltersheid - will be presenting "Beautiful Revelation: The Eucharistic Timeline". Throughout human history, God has left repeated proof of His presence in the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Salvation. God has given us the wisdom. Have you taken the time to understand? Read this spiritual journey through time to examine critical moments that God uses to reveal the truth of the Body of Christ.

This will close in 32 seconds