Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"Flickering Pixels" thoughts

Okay, so I'm still not done with the book. BUT, a few things have stood out to me. The biggest so far has led me to ask myself the following question: Does technology SERVE me or do I serve technology?

Strange question, you say?

Well, yes it is. But let me explain a little bit. Hipps speaks about how often we get confused by technology... and that often we start to find our identity in forms of technology, instead of simply seeing technology as an extension of ourselves. Some examples he gives:

"The telephone extends and amplifies the voice and the ear. Eyeglasses extend the focusing ability of the eye. Weapons, such as guns or knives, are extensions of our teeth and our fists. Smoke detectors extend our sense of smell and also amplify our feelings of security. Even a method of organizing information, such as an outline, is a meduim because it extends the mind's ability to comprehend and recall complex topics."

Hipp's goes on to say, "When we fail to perceive that the things we create are extensions of ourselves, the created things take on god-like characteristics and we become their servants."

So, maybe that seems extreme huh?

Hmm.. maybe, maybe not. What's generally one of the first things I do in the morning? I turn on my computer. I check my email. I leave not only my email but also my facebook account, and another web bulletin board that I frequent, up in different tabls all day long. I walk by and check in almost everytime I walk by my computer. What's the last thing I do before going to bed? I check ONE last time... for new mail, new posts, a new thread to comment on. Sometimes, I'll be thinking about my interactions on the computer than I think about my interactions with people "in real life" (IRL). When I allow my mind and my thoughts to get overly consumed with the computer and my TIME starts being overly wasted on the internet - how is that using the computer for my benefit. At that point, it's no longer just an extension of my senses... it's become a god. It's become a passion. It's become and obsession. It's become "who" I am. It's tearing me away from my wife and mom responsibilites.

So the computer's evil?! OF COURSE not! :)

It's in how we view it. It's in how we balance it. It's in HOW we see ourselves. It's personal to each of us - and will be different for each of us. Just another way we're all unique.

But a great reminder for ME. I want technology to serve ME and the gifts God's given me...(medians of writing, developing relationships etc). I do not want to feel enslaved to technology and feed the monster of self gratification. Once again - it's NOT about me. It's about HIM.

Got any thoughts on this? Are you in control of your position with technology in your world? What would be the median you're struggling with?