Thursday, April 19, 2007

Swimming in Technology

I've been ruminating since the shootings at Virginia Tech about technology. For my parents' generation technology is a tool, especially electronic technology. For my grandparents this was even greater. Talking on the phone with my wife's grandmother (when she was still alive) was always a conversation oddity. She was around when all phone calls were charged by the minute and long distance calls were very expensive. So, she would only talk on the phone in short conversations and then hang up. For me (40 years old) technology is both a tool and a life shaping reality. I recently looked at my wireless phone (Treo 650) and thought that I could keep it for the next 10 years as it does everything that I need it to right now. At the same time I realize that having a wireless phone has helped to shape the way that I live and that changes in that technology will continue to do so. My 9 year-old son is very fond of gadgets, phones especially. Back to the shootings: I read that within 24 hours of the shootings that there were over 17,000 posts on facebook by students from VT. facebook has become the way in which the students at VT and around the country are processing their grief over the experience. The students of today are swimming in technology. It is simply the reality in which they exist.

I recently created a twitter account. If you don't know about twitter, it is a new form of a social networking site where you can post updates to what you are doing at any time during the day. It is a way to keep intimately connected to the activities of others and to share your own. I don't think that twitter will be a life-shaping experience for me like it will for many others: the idea of wanting to know the minute by minutes activities of friends is a bit exhausting, but for those who grow up with the technology at their finger tips it will be a life shaping reality.

How will this affect community? How will this affect relationships? How will this affected the church? Only time will tell, but it is worth knowing about and being connected to.

I listened to a rage by Doug Pagitt today that connected to this. He was going off about how a pastor that he read an article about did not have any publicly listed email address. He conclusion was to point out the irony that during the Easter week that Jesus was accessible, even to his enemies, and that many of us that are 40 over try to keep our distance from others. Perhaps those 20 and younger will understand that aspect of following Jesus in a way that many of us never will.

1 comment:

Abbra said...

Keep up the good work.