Pros and Cons with Technology
It’s amazing how technology has improved over the years. As I look back over the course of my life, many things have changed all around me. I remember days sitting in our living room watching our 19” black and white television which broadcasted about 5 channels (which couldn’t be changed unless you got up, walked up to the tv and turned a dial). The reception was as good as the rabbit ear antenna on the tv or the one mounted on the roof of the house which had to be tuned periodically. Even this was a comical event as someone was yelling from the inside the house, “Nope, go back to the left, stop! Just a little bit back to the right, ok, good, tighten up the eyebolt right there!” Now, we have televisions with such realistic real life clarity and colors in High Definition quality. You can sit in front of the screen and with the push of a button, you can search through a countless number of channels at lightning speed. Just in the span of my military service, we have gone through 4 different updates on the uniform, transitioned from the old Willey’s jeep, to the HUMMWV (Hummer), and on to many other tactical vehicles with countless advancements in weaponry. I used to have to share a landline telephone (with a cord that could stretch out to over 25 feet) with everyone else in my household and limited to how long I could be on the phone. Now, I have a device that I can stick in my pocket and carry around with me with unlimited number of calls and duration. It even has access to unlimited resources, information, games, APPs and APPs for APPs, and answers to any question right at my finger tips.
Do you notice how much we are bombarded with advertisements or is it just a part of our routine to pause long enough for the cancel button pops up on our phone to continue with what we were doing? Have you also noticed how much harder it is to find the little cancel “X” symbol on the screen?
I no longer have to go to the library and spend countless hours digging through encyclopedias to gather information. I can now insert and remove screws with a power driver, without extension cords at the most remote sites. I could go on and on in just about every area of my life and see how much things have changed and how we become so dependent on the latest and greatest!
I am not saying that it is all bad and there are definitely a lot of advantages that comes with them. I have become so dependent on my GPS that I don’t think twice about using it and don’t know how I would do without it. But when I think about these changes and improvements, as much as I like them, and how much they have made my life so much easier, there is definitely a down side to it. Along with these advanced technological improvements come setbacks. Having immediate access to the internet with its valuable resources also brings about many images, topics, and sinful things that easily beset us or work against our walk with God and our sanctification process.
It has caused us to develop an immediate gratification lifestyle or one that speeds up everything in our life. We find ourselves becoming more impatient and may be losing the art of slowing down to enjoy the moment or what God has put in front of us. It could also have a negative impact on our relationships with each other. How often do you see families or groups of people sitting at a restaurant table with little to no conversation and everyone’s eyes glued to their cell phone? If we are not careful, we get pulled into this information highway and hasty lifestyle and don’t realize that we are spending less and less time with more important things and people.
We are warned in the Bible about not having idols or carved images. Exodus 20:2-6 says, Do not have other gods besides me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. Do not bow in worship to them, and do not serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ iniquity, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
We don’t really worship these devices, but do we find ourselves captivated by them to the point where it occupies most of our time? Stop and think for a moment, how much time you spent in a day with your hands on your phone, and compare that with the amount of time you spent in communion with God, his Word and your loved one. We may not realize how much time that is until we intentionally think about it. When we have a block of time to kill, what’s the first thing we (myself included) do? Perhaps pick up our phone and play a game watch a video clip, check out Facebook, etc.
This is why we need to depend on the Holy Spirit to keep us accountable for the amount of time we spend depending on our devices compared to the amount of time we spend with Him and with our spiritual family. We can learn how to keep a healthy balance between technology and our spirituality. Start to develop habits of seeking God first whenever we have some down time. Make that our default and see how God responds.