I am by no means rich. As a matter of fact, by most measurable definitions I am far below the poverty line. Yet, in my possession, I have an iPhone, Playstation, Xbox, Wii, 3 Laptops (one is broken), a netbook, a desktop computer, parts from 2 more desktop computers, an unknown number of mp3 players and iPods, Amazon Kindle, several DVD players, a projector, a LCD Flatscreen HD TV, and a partridge in a pear tree*. I am sure that there is more technology that I am forgetting about or overlooking. I say all this not to brag (after all, none of this stuff is cutting edge or even very new) but to highlight the overwhelming influence of technology in my own life personally. I rarely am unconnected, untethered, or not plugged in some form or fashion.
It might seem kind of odd to start out “Tech Week” with an article entitled “Tech Overload.” But before I dive into all the cool toys and technological wonders that we can be using in our ministry, it is important to put technology in the right context.
Technology has become a ubiquitous force in our society. We are living in an always on, always connected society. We’re tethered by our cell phones (many of which are really mini-computers). We can know whats going on with friends from across the world, down to what they had for breakfast or where they are currently at or what they’re watching on TV. We have 500 channels of HD, but that isn’t realistic enough so we’re going for TV in 3-D. It can overwhelm anyone, threatening to fill every moment with things to do, stuff to watch, and music to listen to.
Remember that technology is a tool to use, not a way of life. You use tools to make life easier, to do things faster, or make things more enjoyable. When it begins to interfere with relationships, work, or our time with God it is time to step back.
Taking a step back might mean eliminating one or two technological toys. It might mean taking a day, a week, or even a month going on a “Technological fast” to detox from our constant companions. Maybe its limiting your use of the stuff to certain hours of the day, or just being more cognizant of your use (or overuse).
Like most things on earth, technology is amoral. It is neither right or wrong. It is our own nature that turns something into good or bad. Use technology in a good way to help your life, better your relationships, and strengthen your ministry.