That Evil Pocket Watch!

Seventeenth century Europe, time of progress – the pocket watch evolved. One can only speculate the discussions concerning this technology. Did some want the latest and greatest while others, who were more modest, maybe never embraced this mechanism? Did some decry this technology? Did some say it would change the face of history for ever? Did the contemporary “luddites” opposed this latest technology?

One could say that clocks and watches hurt culture and human nature – arguing that the reliance on them made us less inclined to look up at the natural signs for time. Social interaction became more stiff, people had to keep a tighter schedules. Life became less organic – did this offend others?

Other technology

Now let’s let our mind wander, what about the telegraph, the train, the short wave radio, the phone and the radio? What about recordings, both visual and audio? Did those cause much upheaval in society as well? Even paper, books, hammers and spoons are technology. Anything that extends our human capabilities could be considered technology.

The modern technology

For example, in the critical cross hairs of some resides the cell phone, ebooks, social networking and the internet. However, there is a double standard and lack of knowledge. They are against certain types of technology but not others. Even though I’m no luddite, I do understand the risks, just as there is in any novel technology, there are real concerns that do need to be addressed. However, many are arguments are just silly.

Is Technology Wrong?

The one sentence answer is no, technology is not wrong! It’s the person who uses it who makes it right or wrong. Some, who are of maybe the religious luddite bent, have spoken out against technology. While some argument may have some merit, some sound quite silly.

Satan owns the internet.

I don’t think this is true, like any technology there can be great good but also great evil – it’s the people who use it who do the right or wrong.

Texting is wrong because it brings instant gratification…and we should “wait on the Lord.”

Two things here, talking to another person also brings instant gratification – anything does. I’m not sure why this makes texting bad and not other things. Oh, in case you were unsure, “wait on the Lord” is taken out of context and does not really fit in this situation. It’s from Psalms and is talking about when the evil ones come against the psalmist.

It is better to call someone on the phone then text them.

I am left wondering, what’s the difference? Both are technology. It is like saying that the telegraph is better the the telephone. This just does not make sense. Both have their uses and places – it may depend on the type and length of conversation – but one is not better or worse then the other.

There’s no reason to have Facebook.

I can think of many reasons. However, I understand that some may not really want it, that is fine, but that does not mean there are no good reasons. Let me name a few. First you can be an encouragement to others. Two, you can show others the gospel and evangelize. Three, you can connect with friends and family who have moved away. I’m sure there is more that one could give. Yes, some people do spend too much time on it and get self absorbed, but that is any issue of selfishness and lack of self control – not the technology itself.

Technology like texting and social networking decreases ones interpersonal interaction skills.

While this may be true, from my perspective and experience I have not seen it to be so. Even if someone is on his or her phone texting, they would rather speak to you-to-your face. If you go up to a total stranger who is on his or her phone and say something, they will look up and enjoy the conversation. So, yes, there could be an issue, but from my experience it’s not.

https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=IbiteSpelling accuracy is lost with texting.

Many are concerned with one letter words and all lower case text. They claim that this is not having one’s life in order. While I understand and agree that’s not how we are to write a professional papers or essays, it’s the language of texting. In fact, we can’t hammer texter’s that much, even in our natural language we use acronyms and shortcuts for words. Think of the word car (for carriage), bldg (for building) and DNA (for deoxyribonucleic acid). In addition, ancient Hebrew and Greek also used acronyms and even used only one case of text. In fact we use verbal shortcuts when speaking that wouldn’t be correct in an essay format. However, we understand each other because that’s how our language works. Yes, people may try to bring this type of attitude over to professional writing, but just like the rest of education, training is the key.

A cell phone will prevent people to come to Christ.

The argument goes like this, when one has a cell phone, one can fill the emptiness of being without Christ. Now I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry here, yes it is true that one can run from God, but one using a lawn mower could also fill one’s life and cause one to ignore the call for salvation. Also, I’m not sure why a cell phone would be a greater block then other types of technology.

We need to “deny self” and follow Christ.

I’m at a loss here. Yes, like anything, if it becomes our focus and takes all our time, then yes we should deny self. Also, we need to follow Christ. However, I’m not sure why this is an argument against technology.

With the advent of new technology we will see the loss of books, newspapers and magazines.

While this may bring us discomfort, I’m not sure what this has to do with spirituality. It may cause concern to the printing industry, but from a biblical perspective it is void. Second, both ink and paper and digital text are types of technology. It is like saying a ball point pen should not be used because we will see the decline of quill pens. This is not wrong. In addition, I do think, as we have seen, that paper products will be in decline, however, I really can’t see them being totally removed from our lives.

Technology conclusion

Because of my background, technology is an interesting subject for me. That’s why I’m disappointed when those, who don’t know what they’re talking about concerning history and technology proper, push arbitrary thoughts on others. Technology is all around us, stuff that these people depend on day-in and day-out include technology. What they seem to miss is the fact that the technology is not the issue, rather  we need to train people for its proper uses and wise implementation. In addition, we need to remember, technology is not the thing that’s good or bad, it’s the people who can use it for good or for evil.

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Your thoughts Do you have some thoughts about technology? Can you think of some good arguments where we should be concerned with the use of novel technology? Enter your thoughts below.

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