I’m aware that I risk sounding like a ranting curmudgeon, but I think this entry for Our Daily Journey says something that I need to hear. I’d be interested if anyone thinks it’s too harsh. The target audience for ODJ is a 30 year old who might live anywhere in the world.
When I was a child I knew people who did nothing but watch television. They sat in their recliner and snuffed their lives in continuous loops of game shows, sitcoms, and sporting events. The television was always on, even during meals.
I noticed something strange about these people. They watched television because it was fun. Its newscasts, dramas, and soap operas seemed more interesting than whatever was happening in their lives. Yet the more they watched its exciting shows the more boring they became. The same television that connected them to the outside world also shrunk them. They became television zombies, unable to hold their end of a conversation because they had nothing to talk about.
Something similar is occurring today. I know people who are always plugged in. They live their days online, surfing the Internet, checking email, and thumbing out texts. They rarely speak to the person beside them, for they’re absorbed in whatever news or video is streaming on their digital device. Their cell phone is always on, even during meals.
This technology is more active than watching television, but it is no less draining. We go online because it’s exciting, and yet the more time we spend there the less interesting we become. Try holding a conversation with someone who is tethered to their cell phone. There isn’t much to say, and you’re about to be interrupted anyway.
Broadband is producing shallow people, which is a problem for the gospel. Jesus said He came “to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10), but what does this mean to people who seldom think beyond their next text?
This problem eludes easy solutions. We don’t want to eliminate technology, but we must control it. Jesus can’t save our lives unless we have one. So let’s get a life: it’s a necessary foundation for salvation.