Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Technology of the Future . . . Today!

This week, Josh Harris, John Piper, & Al Mohler have all weighed in on technology and how new forms of communication are affecting our worship and personal connections. I think that is very profitable for us to consider these things . . . things such as Tweeting (the use of Twitter), Facebooking, texting, etc. Each of these forms of communication can and do shape the messages we are transmitting, but, more importantly, they are changing the way we organize our lives and our brains when it comes to communicating with one another.

I recently watched an early 1960s television show. A real estate agent comes into the home of a couple who are putting their house up for sale. He asks the couple if he could use their phone because he forgot to tell his secretary where he was going, and he was expecting a very important phone call. How novel that seems in our time!

I don't have an objection to the use of Twitter, updating a Facebook status, or texting, but I am concerned with the obsession and constant use of such technologies. For those growing up with such, there is no other way of life. And I am afraid they are creating patterns of life that are not at all times healthy.

I guess it is no longer considered rude if you are carrying on a face to face conversation with someone, and they are texting during the entire conversation. Or a person is working and yet chatting every few minutes on Facebook. What ever happened to great dinner conversation? Here is what it tells me when I am sitting across from a person who is texting and talking to me at the same time: You are not important enough to me to have my full attention. Or, this task is not important enough to me for it to have all my energies. Now I know many would say that they can do both at the same time. And by their actions they do show that it is physically possible. But there is the unseen message sent of importance.

Remember the phrase "undivided attention?" I wonder if that exists in a Twitter world. Attention is not only divided, it is fractured.

They are well worth the read.