I believe that how we interact with technology in the coming years will present tremendous opportunities as well as significant challenges and temptations. I hope you are challenged to evaluate how you engage with technology, and are willing to make changes if necessary.
As I’ve wrestled with this issue, I’ve made several realizations. I’ve become more aware and more appreciative of technology’s many blessings. It’s great to be able to stay in touch with friends through phone and email. FaceTime and Skype provide us with the ability to share more of ourselves through video chat. Facebook has allowed me to re-connect with friends that I may have never been able to stay in touch with. Meanwhile, lectures, sermons, and other resources can now be downloaded or streamed seamlessly to us wherever we are. In short, technology can be used in a variety of ways to bless others and worship God.
But we should also be careful of what we’re worshiping. Is it technology or is it God? As I’ve wrestled with this issue, I’ve made several changes to my life. I try to minimize my texting. When I do text, I do my best to make it quick and simple. I do believe texting is a great resource, but I don’t believe that it should be used for actual conversations. There is just too much lost in translation. I call people more, and I understand the importance of face-to-face communication. My wife and I have made a rule that we don’t check our emails on the weekends. I still don’t own a smartphone.
These aren’t hard and fast rules. What works for me may not work for you. In fact, I know that most people probably think I’m a bit extreme. That’s fine, but I do believe we all need to know our own limits. We all need to figure out when it’s too much. We should all figure out when our smartphone is hurting our relationships and when it fosters them. I hope that we’re all willing to do what we need to do to maintain peace in our lives.
We must be willing to ask the difficult questions and seek out the answers:
- In what way is technology negatively impacting your life?
- What does it look like for you to engage with technology in a healthy way?
- What are your blind spots?
- What changes do I need to make?
I hope this series has been helpful. The views I presented here are a work in progress. It’s fine if you disagree with what I have said, but I hope that I was successful in convincing you that this is an area of great importance and we should continue to think through how we use technology.
I would love to hear any and all feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
God Bless You!
This is my final post in an eight-part series about how to live faithfully in our technology-saturated world, but check out some of my other post on How We Should Respond To Technology, How Technology Changes How We Communicate, Living Faithfully In A Technology-Saturated World, and How Technology Changes The Way We Think.
Special thanks to Bart Carey, Kristina Merrick, Dennis Sarracco, and my father Donn Satrom for the edits and feedback.