William Wildblood has brought to my attention a pair of articles entitled Four Questions Concerning the Internet, part one The Universal and part two The Neon God; written by Paul Kingsnorth, in which he independently converges on a theme explored here (also in related blogs and by Jeremy Naydler) over the past few years.
Kingsnorth also reaches the same general conclusion (Which William Wildblood has articulated lucidly; which is that 'the internet' and computers generally may (in some circumstances) provide a vehicle for the incarnation of demons.
If this is regarded as a possibility (which mostly depends on one's metaphysical assumptions concerning the nature of this reality and the relationship of 'life' and 'matter') - then the hypothesis of demonic incarnation in 'computers' explains a great deal, and has extensive implications.
For instance; technology is usually presented as value-neutral, and whether it is a Good Thing or an Evil would therefore depend on the use to which it is being-put.
Yet, if demonic incarnation is a reality, then technology may itself become an active and purposive evil; in other words, technology may seek the spiritual harm - including destruction - of Men.
If we accept this as probably true, in some real but imprecise sense; then what are the implications?
Kingsnorth (a recent convert to Eastern Orthodoxy) focuses on the potential for asceticism; for rejecting, denying-ourselves (as much as possible) usage-of and contact-with these demonic entities.
Such a strategy has the practical limitation that people Just Aren't doing this - not even the most ascetic. Kingsnorth describes that even the famously-ascetic monks of Mount Athos are, albeit belatedly, often carrying and using 'smartphones'.
Then there is the more general problem that it is almost impossible to function in the modern world without a significant level of usage of these possessed technologies.
But there is also - and most importantly - the ultimate limitations of asceticism: the deep question of whether this is the proper or best Christian response to the evils of this world.
My approach would be rather different. I see the problem of a demonic internet as an extension of the very general problem of evil-affiliated social institutions, a problem that characterizes All major social institutions in The West and 'globally' - including the (self-identified) Western Christian churches (and a Western convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, still counts as Western).
This means that the Christian inescapably lives in a demon-dominated and evil-orientated society; from which there can be no escape while remaining alive and socially-functional.
But this has - to some significant extent - always been the case; and was surely the case for Jesus himself during his earthly life.
Thus Christianity has always, properly understood (e.g. in the Fourth Gospel), been rooted and aimed beyond this mortal and social life - and therefore the task for Christians is to deal-with the presence of pervasive evil.
As I see it; the primary problem of 'the internet' is that people spiritually surrender their values and attitudes to it; and by this they invite evil into their hearts.
Evil needs to be invited - and this invitation of evil has become not just a personal corruption, not just a 'means to ends' as in the past; but in Western Society here-and-now evil has been given positive evaluations; officially, by the mass media, legally, economically etc.
We are, for the first time in human history, inhabiting a world where transcendental values of truth, beauty, and virtue are substantially and increasingly inverted.
Since this situation is almost-everywhere and cannot be escaped; we must recognize it, and deal with it.
Dealing with the internet, computers and digitalization is part of this; but only part. Evil needs to be discerned, identified, recognized - and spiritually rejected (and repented when we have failed to do this) wherever it is encountered.
Some of this will surely entail avoidance of internet, computers, AI etc; but as a specific tactic, not as a general strategy.
Such a Christian life is not to be envisaged negatively, as a state of siege; ended only by death or the triumph of evil. To accept this understanding would itself be a surrender to the demonic perspective.
Because the Christian life is positive, not negative; thus discernment is a by-product of faith, and faith is 'about' spiritual learning during this life ('theosis'), as well as resurrection after this life ('salvation').
In sum; life may be regarded as what it spiritually is; that is, an adventure and a quest.
We must therefore engage-with evil, and the business of identifying and rejecting evil is a by-product of our positive spiritual goals.
Since God is the Creator, and is Good, and Loves us each as His child; our personal life-situation has been set-up so that nobody can be defeated except by his own choice, and we can all succeed in the end - if that is what we really want to do.
So, we should strive not for an ideal of asceticism, but for an ideal of high-hearted and hope-full confidence; with faith that, no matter what the demon-dominated world throws-at-us; we are equipped to beat it.