An interesting article popped up today in my reader about technology becoming a necessity in our lives. Could it be that upgrading my phone is more important than a new pair of pants? Are a new large flat screen TV and HD channels more important than say food? Trends seem to be pointing to this new reality.
As the article states, “Much has been made of the “cocooning effect,” or people rationalizing that they can spend a little more on a flat screen since they’ll be going to the movies less. But some think it’s gone a little deeper: Electronics have become more intrinsic, more of an extension of people’s everyday activities.”
How engrained is technology in my life? It is a very rare day that I am not on my laptop for at least a few minutes. I have an i-touch that gets me email pretty much everywhere I go. I have a cell phone that I don’t use that much (yeah, Net10!). Our family has a Wii and an X-box 360 (also an original Nintendo and a Sega Genesis!). No flat screen TV though (although I have longingly looked at the store a few times). No Blu-ray.
So the question is how much is technology just part of the way I do life? How I connect? How I communicate? How I do my job? Or how much is just something I choose? And more importantly what difference does it make that technology is so embedded in our lives? Should I be concerned about myself? For my kids?
As I’ve dealt with this in past, the one theme that continues to re-occur is the theme of presence. Am I still able to be present in the moment that I live in or am I hoping through technology to be somewhere else, talking to someone else about something else? We’ve all been a part of conversations where we’re talking but not really anyone is listening – or listening to only part of what’s being said – because they are texting, tweeting or facebooking on their phone. Can I be disciplined enough to use technology for my benefit when I need to or do I allow technology to demand my presence elsewhere all the time because its there?
Finally, what does this mean for faith? Would Jesus have a Twitter account? (BTW… Jesus O. Nazareth, whoever you are, I have chosen to leave you in my facebook purgatory -never accepting friend request, never denying- because I’m not sure if I should have Jesus as my facebook friend. I mean, really. Does that somehow make me more of a Christian?) Does technology drive me away from faith or into faith? Or is it just another tool, an expression of our lives that reflects the reality of our hearts?