Here’s a question I’d like you “weigh in” on today:
How does the technology we use shape us, for better and worse?
I’m thinking through this question in light of this quote:
Technology has always rearranged our social and psychic furniture. As Jesuit priest and media scholar John Culkin pointed out, “We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us.” Ever since the printing press, evangelicals have always been at the front of the line for new technologies for spreading the Word. Radio, TV, the Web, and worship with rock bands, video clips, and PowerPoint presentations have become common.
There are two easy responses to technological innovation: embrace it or reject it. As evangelicals, we have a tendency to embrace popular culture, with its bent toward the ephemeral. Ironically, while we jazz up our worship spaces with gadgets and glitz, it is often specialists of technology and culture who caution greater reflection . One thinks of Marshal McLuhan’s The Medium Is the Message and Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death. In his bestseller, The Shallows, Nicholas Carr argues that in the Internet age we are losing our capacity for deep thinking, reading, and conversation. Instead of deep sea divers, he says, we jet ski on a sea of words and especially images. Having taught a generation of students to develop new technologies, MIT professor Sherry Turkle raises this question from a commonsense perspective. The title of one of her recent books tells the story: Alone Together: Why We Expect More of Technology and Less of Each Other.
Horton, Michael S. (2014-10-07). Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World (p. 61). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.