EFFECTS, DISPOSITION & DISCIPLINE
Technology according to me, is anything made after the order of the creative mind of God in man for the betterment and ease in the daily operations of life. In the course of writing this, I saw a definition on geero.net that says “Technology is anything created by human beings to help us reach beyond what we would be able to get without it”. And this could come in the form of doing an old thing in a more efficient way and helpful way thereby solving problems and making living easier.
In the beginning, God created man to be good and it was very clear that man was created to be good but in direct contrast to that, that same man is clearly deviating from what can be called ‘good’ by all standards. For example, we have seen humans deviate from what they were really created to be through life-threatening surgeries, we have gotten involved in evil acts as never heard or seen before.
There have been concerns on the future of the technology infected world, especially as we are seeing significant improvements in artificial intelligence almost on a daily basis, concerns about how mostly junior and mid-level workers would lose their jobs to robots and automated and computerized machines have been raised, the sad truth is there is outside this context is(although considering only options in the physical), the only way to stay relevant in the fast approaching ‘tech-dominating-world’ is to either be very good at what you do or be a big financial investor.
Technology in terms of social media has been heavily criticized by most people of the early 19th – 20th centuries of it’s ‘uselessness’ and ability to make youths of this generation apparently ‘lazy, someone once asked me “what are you always doing on your phone?” in the full context of what he said he was trying to tell me that “why should I put so much time in what cannot make money for me?” only if he knows:- . This ideology has formed its disposition towards everything called or related to technology.
Everything just as God created man and man acted against the will of God which in turn led to channeling a different path has it’s ‘good’ and bad sides. In Christian circles, technology is referred to as amoral meaning that it is impossible to fully claim that is totally bad and we can’t say that technology has not done great good in Christianity.
Technology can be defined as a spontaneous phenomenon that throws a wave at you whether prepared or not. That’s why we see, people are quick to jump on the latest thing forgetting that they could be the happening thing. Youths of our generation are quick to wrongly spend valuable time to gist and talk about the latest propaganda (the original idea was literally to distract you anyway….), we most times only talk about the latest gadgets and do not give room to crave the level of creativity exuded in producing those gadgets to serve as inspiration to developing our own minds.
Technology, in terms of social media, has done us a lot of wrongs and brought us to an all-time low level of moral and values decadence we possibly could not believe it would get to but here we are, losing touch with devoted time with God, a time where nothing distracts us, not Whatsapp messages, not e-mails, not Facebook notifications, we are losing touch with studying the Word of God and even studying generally as a result of loss of interest in getting involved in things of value. We have gotten to a point where the skill of innovation and creativity has now become a thing of the past. These and more is where technology has brought us to, no so bad?
The Tech story is not complete and wrongly told if we only talk about the adverse effect technology has done for us, in our walk with God.
Long before now, dating as far back as almost 1500 years ago, monks been the scholars of the old times had the responsibility of writing the bible into copies, according to history, a monk would write a copy of the bible for over a year at the rate of a chapter of the Bible per day, so it was practically impossible for even those that have heard the gospel at the time to know the word and have an understanding of the God that is been preached to them. Obviously this process was not effective and something had to be done, there were experiments on ways to print and make copies of materials in high demand like the bible faster, the Chinese hold the record for the oldest known printed book dating back to around 868 A.D. but it didn’t solve the problem of printing even still aside printing the Bible. Then in the year 1440, Johannes Gutenberg built on the manual conventions Chinese men like BI SHENG and WANG CHEN has produced earlier and the first printing effective (to its own degree) printing press was invented by Gutenberg in France, he took his printing press to Europe and the first set of materials that were printed at the Gutenberg’s press is 180 copies of the bible of 1300 pages. This represents the biggest technological breakthrough in Christianity! Imagine if you had to queue and follow a register in a large cathedral(the copies made in the olden days were only made available at the inner courts of very notable cathedrals) before gaining access to the Bible but today, you have multi versions of the Bible all at your fingertips. Thank God for technology, thank God for the creative mind he placed in us to create solutions to solve our own problems.
Fast forward to today, we would agree that technology has done great good to our faith walk, technological advances like online podcasts, praise and prayer sessions on Instagram live, access to preachers and their messages has done a lot of good to souls in and out of Christendom, a lot of people have gotten born again without entering a church just by joining an online Christian community so this group has now helped him see reasons why he should surrender his life and become a child of God, without entering a church or attending a service.
In continuation of the good tech has done for us, I want to paint a scenario based on a part of technology that has received heavy criticism from mostly elderly people around the world; entertainment mainly comprising of social media then music, e.t.c. “We have heard in the news and seen around the effects of depression in the lives of people of varying races, ages, status, beliefs, and other filters so here is the story of a depressed man and as it’s the usual thing with depressed persons they prefer to be alone and not talk to or be with anyone so this man would rather always stay alone and occasionally listens to various playlists bordering around why man was created and why should he have so much troubles and struggles to deal with, he listens to this on an online podcast to shut out the rest of the world and just be by himself(just as depressed people try to be). He has been doing this for a long time but one day as he was listening to a random playlist, an audio message about the peace of God starts playing, at first he thinks it’s one of those messages but little did he know that God was about to save him, the healing Hands of God reached him, he tried to switch but he felt something he lost in his heart come back to him, he saw that he couldn’t live successfully and peacefully in the world without having God, going further in listening to other messages, hope was revealed to him, he started seeing himself differently, he heard about the free gift of salvation, that Someone paid a sacrifice for him and just by listening to a series of podcasts, he is on his way out of depression into joy and wholeness, Hallelujah!!!” Now this story is to make it clear and open to us that social media or technology is not inherently evil but a lot of times, some of us has focused too much on the bad sides and render the good it offers negligible.
What you know and believe about a thing will influence what you get from it, even if you have a wrong impression about God, it would, in turn, constitute your attitude towards God hence forms what you get from God. Someone could have wrong impressions about God been a wicked and strict One, some have the impression that God hates them for something they did, so they live in guilt which even makes their requests more like a waste of time because anything not done in faith is sin, so doubt is now evident in the answer to the individual’s life sourcing from the wrong impression he initially had about God, So in relation to technology, when you start thinking it’s inherently evil, you will be able to gain close to nothing good from it. A lot of serious minds here in Nigeria harness the power of technology and become business owners with no physical store, take example of a Dayo, popularly called “D-1”, he is a businessman, he advertises on his phones and gadgets, an interested buyer sees the advertisement and also orders from a mobile phone, then the goods get imported for the buyer, gets charged for transportation costs, the cost of the good and D-1’s profit, please take note that all this process goes on without Dayo having neither a physical store nor an office, all the capital he needs is money for a data and good marketing skills and he has a running business.
It would be wrong to say because of misuse render the product and services useless because doing that will not only affect us but it could affect the growth or that person trying to make use the world placed in his hands to make something worthwhile due to the unending criticism and bad mouth he suffers from people that don’t believe the good technology can bring.
Usage of Technology has a very subtle effect in that, you might not know but it’s happening, if only we could measure and contrast how many hours we spend on the laptop, mobile phones, tablets, IPads to the time we spend in devotion to God and His Word. Over usage of technology poses a threat to our growth and development by deceiving us to think that we are active and busy but a lot of times busy and not really productive, been active or been busy doesn’t in any way mean you are productive, it only means you are living, so the choice lies with you to redirect that energy from always doing something to always being productive. John Piper said, “one of the uses of the WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook on the last day would be to show that the issue was not a lack of time for prayer but a lack of understanding in investing time rightly”(paraphrased by me).
Technology affects our everyday life, it makes life better and easier but the moment we see technology as a wrong thing or something that we are not ripe for would mean having a wrong impression, truth be told, technology can be a very captivating and interesting distraction, you know, someone texted you and you have to reply and spice it with a befitting emoji (smiles), responding to calls and all emails, Netflixing, all these things look like things of value but what happens to the skill of meditation and depth in walking with God as required in the holy scriptures in 2 Timothy 2:15.
We do a lot of activities online, coordinating this, planning that, administrating on different platforms these are very good, yes we are adding value to the lives of people but don’t you think they are transient? think about this for a moment… so we don’t feel comfortable and think ” Wow, thank God, I’m doing this and that” which in most cases, it’s only a tiny fraction of what we would be doing as inspired by God to make impact and solve problems ravaging our world today if only we could convert the time spent on technological advancements with God and His. Someone said, “the greatest danger of technology is not what it brings, but the highest good it denies us from”. Imagine a family pitted on a dining table but everyone is focused on their phones instead of bonding and getting closer to relatives, everyone is bonding with Whatsapp and Facebook, this family scenario here might look so harmless but as time goes on, the family begins to lose their bond, the family dining table will over time become a cafeteria where different people come to eat and after eating they are all gone whereas according to researches by North Dakota state university and reports from belief.net, sharing a family meal helps communication, it helps children have a relaxed opportunity to learn what values are important to the family and helps connect to other members of the family. If a family member had a stressful day, dinner is that time to unwind and have a relaxing atmosphere with loved ones.
Technology is not inherently bad and neither is the misuse of it a good thing, life is balance and everything that you see as life, everything that you see as your self is beautiful only when it is in balance and Jana Kingsford has this to say about balance, he said “balance is not what you find, it is something you create” The use of technological gadgets in our worship to God is not bad when we use it without getting distracted by the notification, it’s not bad when we use it in aiding our growth in God, for instance having a mobile bible application or having an application that suggests daily Bible readings and hymns to sing to you are all ways of growing in our walk with God but the case comes when we put it all to the devices to help us connect when the Bible tells us to come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, smartphones will not induce His presence neither will gadgets do, here comes the need to have an open mind towards technology and maintain a balance, put “rituals” in place for example, ‘no social media if I have not prayed in a day’ or ‘no response to any email without first having a devotion with God no matter how many “urgents” is placed on it’. Having these rules in place would help us to keep a balance and have everything in check, the less important must not be given more time compared to the most important.
Technology is great, it makes life easier and faster and run smoothly, it is born out of the creative mind that God has placed in us but we need to regularly check to know if we are getting too engrossed in its usage, or we have the wrong understanding of its concept and how to be disciplined enough in the day to day activities because as John Maxwell said “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily, the secret of your success is found in your daily routine’. Technology is great but an overly urge to use technology could be devastating in the long run, weigh the options and it’s benefits and live a balanced life.
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