I kind of like technology. It can be fun, and certainly can be quite useful. It’s definitely great for communication. This blog is cyberspace evidence of that.
It doesn’t have its drawbacks, however. I suspect you’ve heard various people bemoan the negatives (and you’ve probably done that yourself on occasion). I’ve heard some call it downright evil.
I’m not really techno-savvy myself. I know enough to get by. I probably know just about enough to be dangerous.
I’m an Addict
I saw a meme once (or twice) that said, “Come on over to my place tonight. Some of us are getting together to stare at our cell phones.” It happens.
I resisted getting a cell phone for many years. I didn’t see the need to be constantly connected. I figured if someone really needed me, they could find me somehow. We did it for years.
Then one day, my boss told me they were getting me one. He said the company should be able to contact me whenever they needed me. At that point, I had to relent. Shortly thereafter, I was hooked (like everyone else).
Now I can’t go anywhere without it. Everything is on that phone (including a GPS app to get me where I’m going in the shortest amount of time). I’m even getting telemarketer calls on that baby now. I guess I’ve arrived.
There’s an interesting aspect to being connected all the time. Though we’re connected to the outside world, we often end up on an island of our own. We’ve got our phones out and we’re checking our email, reading posts on Facebook, or playing some addictive game. Being connected ends up cutting us off from those nearest to us.
We already live in a society where most of us don’t even know our next-door neighbors. Technology tends to wall us off even further. It seems like most of us are beginning to worship at the altar of the techno gods. These gods consume us to the point where we almost become human sacrifices. Our time is unquestionably surrendered to them. They are billed as “time-saving devices,” and yet they suck our free moments away.
“Let’s put these down and talk.”
There have been more than a few evenings when my lovely bride and I have caught ourselves with the TV on, a cell phone in my hand, and an electronic tablet in hers. We’ve both submerged ourselves into our own little worlds and have to fight to come up for air. It’s all we can do to say to each other, “That’s it! Let’s put these down and talk.” More times than not, we end up back on some device before the evening is over. It’s pathetic.
I seldom read a paper Bible anymore. I have umpteen translations on my computer. It’s faster, easier, and more efficient.
That same Bible (both paper and electronic) teaches us to fast and pray. I’m starting to think we need to fast from electronics sometimes. There’s one big problem, though. It might be harder than actually fasting from food.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]