The Technology Tightrope
“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity.” (Psalm 133:1)
Technology is a challenge for all of us. Those of us who are older are treated as stupid by younger generations - complete with eye rolling - if we cannot maneuver technology effortlessly. We are concerned about our children and grandchildren living lives so different from our own, because their lives feel much more restrictive, and cold. It sometimes feels as if technology has become its own religion. John Naughton, of the guardian.com warns us of technology’s dangers.
Naughton rightly elaborates, “A new power is loose in the world. It is nowhere and yet it’s everywhere. It knows everything about us – our movements, our thoughts, our desires, our fears, our secrets, who our friends are, our financial status, even how well we sleep at night. We tell it things that we would not whisper to another human being. It shapes our politics, stokes our appetites, loosens our tongues, heightens our moral panics, keeps us entertained (and therefore passive). We engage with it 150 times or more every day, and with every moment of contact we add to the unfathomable wealth of its priesthood. And we worship it because we are, somehow, mesmerized by it.”
We need to reclaim our lives. Facebook is many things, but it is not a “community.” We need to reclaim our “freedom” from the chains of the dark side of technology. There are joys in technology. The challenge is in learning to embrace the positive, while keeping distance from that which can hurt, and disconnect one from true community.
Today, prayerfully reflect on the joys you experience in technology, and the darker side that draws you away from person-to-person relationships. Hackers can steal our identities. We shouldn’t give it away through living in a virtual world, rather than the world God has given us. Pray for the wisdom to know how to walk the technology tightrope. Tech can be our greatest ally or one of our most serious burdens. Ask for the Spirit’s guidance as we weave our way through these constantly upgrading times.