10 May 2013

Technology as a complicated blessing

A couple of weeks ago, I answered an invitation from catapult journal to write something about technology. I often find the way that we respond to technology to be problematic: either we embrace it as being all good or assume that it is evil/problematic. The reality is neither of these. I believe instead that technology is a tool, which can be used for tremendous good but which also can lead to certain excesses.

To give you a glimpse of the article, I'm including the first paragraph here: 
"I sometimes get the feeling that a significant number of Christians think that technology — more specifically, things like social media, internet and cell phones — is bad in and of itself. The trend to give up Facebook for Lent only seems to confirm this sense of how harmful it must be. But isn’t technology just a tool? It can, and obviously does, lead to certain excesses. Yet, excesses in other areas, like food, are given names (for example, gluttony or eating disorders); food itself is not considered evil. So why should technology be different? How is it that technology can be a blessing and yet also cause such havoc in our lives? . . .

I continue by giving some thoughts about transportation (not by car) and internet (espcially social media). I encourage you to read the whole article (it's relatively short). But I especially want you to hear my conclusion about the largest blessing of technology, and so I'm including it here:
I believe that the largest blessing of technology is hidden: it shows our need for community. Technology has helped us extend our communities and be able to connect to others. At the same time, we need the help of others to figure out how to do that well, and learn how to create healthy boundaries so that this technology doesn't take over our lives and can still be a blessing for ourselves and others.

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