Thursday, November 6, 2014

An Upside-down World?

You know, we left life in the United States behind in 2007.  Back then, a whole seven years ago, iPhones either didn't exist, or were so elitist, I didn't know anyone who had one.  I also didn't know anyone who had a Kindle, or iPad.  Most people had one computer for the family.  Most people didm't text, because you paid per text, if I remember correctly.

Can I tell you something? Technology has invaded our lives, addicted us, and changed our culture.  It has changed the way we relate (don't relate) to each other.  I don't have to go into detail to describe this to you.  We all know what it looks like.  People with faces in their phones, texting at the speed of light, Bible studies with no Bibles, but phones, blue lit up faces with eyes down.

But it didn't creep up on us.  We weren't like the frog in a pot of water that slowly came to a boil.  Now that we have moved back to the US, we are the frogs thrown in the already hot boiling water. : )  Can I tell you something else?

This change is not good.

There are so so many reasons why our cultural addiction to technology is harmful.  Here's one of the ones I see, though, that bothers me the most.  It's not just an addiction to the gadgets, it seems to be an addiction to information and knowledge.  And not necessarily knowledge about things that matter, but almost always knowing about things that really.don't.matter.   Honestly, a lot of the information and "news" we are taking in can be really damaging.

Ten years ago, without talking face to face, we had no way to know people's opinions about divisive topics.  We couldn't assume something about someone because of something they shared on Facebook.  (Did you know my auto correct just capitalized Facebook?!?)  Friendships were probably better, because you either avoided dangerous topics because you knew they were dangerous, and you valued your friendship.  Or you were face to face and could talk them out in real life, with measured words, facial expressions and tone of voice.  It's a lot easier to get offended by black and white words on screen, and to retaliate in another black and white comment.  This is not healthy or good for relationships.

Twenty years ago, we only got our local news.  There is so much news and information about what's going on in the world today, it's impossible to digest it all.  It keeps people in a constant state of fear.  I'm just calling it like I see it.  Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.  I'm all for awareness about things we need to be praying for, taking before the throne, and things we can actually do something about.  But the constant news and information about brokenness and depravity that we can do nothing about is purposeless.  Not to mention that having lived overseas, and hearing news about where we were, I know for a fact that at least some of what we hear in the USA is exaggerated and misconstrued to sound more dramatic/dangerous than it really is.

We're all getting suckered into thinking we need these gadgets, we deserve it.  Even down to our children!  We're bad parents if we don't give them their own iPhone by the time they're ten.  I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure *I* don't even have the maturity and discipline to appropriately use my iPhone all the time, and there's no way I'm trusting my children with one.  (I'm not even mentioning the cost of all these things, just not going there).

All of this just leads to elevated stress, anxiety, and controversy in life.  Can I just encourage you to turn it off?  Unplug it.  Live your life, don't text/comment/instagram/tweet it. :)  I'm not saying technology is worthless.  It definitely is useful and has its place, I'm thankful for it in many ways!  But I'm saying, don't let it master and rule you.  Don't be the frog in the pot with the water starting to simmer...

3 comments:

  1. Good stuff to think through, Megan. I like your thoughts about dangerous topics, measured words, and face to face conversations. I've given much thought to technology recently myself. I really like this post. http://www.desiringgod.org//blog/posts/six-ways-your-phone-is-changing-you

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Brandy! I look forward to reading that article. I'm not one to shy away from divisive topics, ha! :) But I've just seen that dealing with them on Facebook is detrimental to relationships. I want to be clear, I'm not saying we should just avoid tough discussions. Not at all. Just we should take them offline and have them face to face. :) Which would require us to put the screens down and look each other in the eye.

    ReplyDelete