To help find healthy balance with technology, recently sat down with two seasoned fathers in the faith: David Wells and Arthur Hunt. Wells is the author of the new book God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-Love of God Reorients Our World (2014). Hunt is the author of the new book Surviving Technopolis: Essays on Finding Balance in Our New Man-Made Environments (2013).
Both men appreciate the benefits of digital communications technology. And both of their books attempt to help Christians think critically about the place of technology and distractions in our lives. I asked these men about the iPhone — the problems it introduces into our lives, the toll on the Christian soul it potentially causes, and the solutions for wise balance it forces us to envision.
A few notable quotes from Wells:
“Our objective in life is to become God-centered in our thoughts, God-fearing in our hearts and God-honoring in all that we do. This is a society of distraction. If we allow it to overwhelm us and press us into its mold, it will take time away from those things that are central: our focus upon the reality and the presence and the glory and the goodness and the greatness of God. So in that sense it becomes a real competitor.”
“We get computer pings and beeps. We all understand this,” Wells said. “But the large question is this: What is this doing to our minds when we are living with this constant distraction? What happens to us when we are in constant motion? When, in fact, we are addicted to constant visual stimulation, what happens to us? That is the big question. The average person shifts tasks every three minutes. Half the time we interrupt ourselves! So what is this doing to us deep down? The smaller question is: How do we find time for the things that are really central in our lives as Christians?”
“We want to go on to the next thing now, immediately. It cannot be too soon before we move on. But the knowledge of God, learning to walk with him through all of the conflicts, anxieties, difficulties, injustices of life — that is a life process. It takes time for this knowledge to mature in people. And we rob ourselves of that if we allow ourselves to be shaped by this culture of distraction.”
Read “Get Alone Distracted” for some analysis and some solutions offered to living in the age of Technopolis!