Here’s a good one from Lee for us to think about! Take a look…. -anita
Technology: Help or Hazard?
I came across an article recently by Dr. John D. Payne, a pastor in Charleston, SC, in which he discussed the technology age in which we live. His thesis is this: while computers, smart phones and other technological devices are ubiquitous in our culture, they need to be controlled at a personal level.
Dr. Payne points out that this electronic information age happened very quickly: Personal computers in homes since the late 1970s, and smart phones in everyone’s purse or pocket just since 2007. It’s a bit frightening to note that young people have never known a time when these devices were not part of their lives. Maybe, in the view of these young folks, even an essential part of their lives!
As Christians, Payne suggests we would do well to assess the role these devices play in our lives and how much time and interest we invest in them. And for myself, I would include television in this assessment. Dr. Payne raises this question: “Are we losing our spiritual moorings in this vast and growing ocean of digital technology and omni-connectedness?” He really got my attention when he posed the question, “Could it be that our gadgets and gizmos that guarantee so much are actually fostering a new level of spiritual and relational superficiality in our lives?”
Admittedly, I used my laptop to write this blog piece, and certainly, smart phones to stay in touch with work or family are all legitimate uses of available technology. But a valid question to ask ourselves might be: how many hours a day do we sit in front of the TV or at a computer screen looking at the news or events of the day or texting jokes to friends far and near from our phone? None of these things are inherently bad in themselves, but can become a detriment depending upon degree and personal reliance.
Dr. Payne quotes a favorite Scripture passage of mine. “Look carefully how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” [Eph 5:15-16] With that verse as a backdrop, I can say I probably spend far too much time on my computer.
The real bottom line on this topic is not that it’s a missive on time management. The real teaching is that we must be careful to monitor/control the sources of those entities which influence us, our thinking, and our actions. To the degree we live in a way where our free time is spent poring over the phone-tv-computer screens in our lives it will assuredly affect our relationships, both to friends and family and also to God. All those ones who love us the most!
Dr. Payne astutely reminds us, “Christians should never live passively, allowing the culture to shape and mold them into its image. Indeed, [be careful or] the tools of digital technology that we have shaped will soon be shaping us.”