Diddling Around On Ephemeral Blogs

D. A. Carson, on the danger of Christians conforming to the pattern of this world, specifically when it comes to the use of technology.   A few quotes:

The speed of the Internet is stunning.   A few years ago I was attending a meeting of pastors, most of us with our laptops out taking notes during the complex discussions, when the chap next to me turned his screen to me and invited me to read what was there.   About fifteen minutes earlier he had said something to the group.   What he had said was summarized and sent by another member of the group to his associate back home.   The associate blogged the information, and that blog was picked up by an RSS feed that brought the information to the blog of one of the assistants of the chap beside me.   That assistant emailed his boss, and there was the question on the screen: “Did you really say that?”   Amusing, even fun—but such speed is encouraging us to bash out responses before we’ve heard another side, before we’ve had time to evaluate, before we’ve pondered whether or not it is wise and godly to respond at all, before we’ve cooled down and been careful in our choice of words.   When you set out to write a book, a good editor fosters such virtues, but most blogs pass through the hands of no editors, and graceful communication is not thereby enhanced.

Scarcely less important than speed of access is the Internet’s sheer intoxicating addictiveness—or, more broadly, we might be better to think of the intoxicating addictiveness of the entire digital world.   Many are those who are never quiet, alone, and reflective, who never read material that demands reflection and imagination.   The iPods provide the music, the phones constant access to friends, phones and computers tie us to news, video, YouTube, Facebook, and on and on.   This is not to demonize tools that are so very useful.   Rather, it is to point out the obvious: information does not necessarily spell knowledge, and knowledge does not necessarily spell wisdom, and the incessant demand for unending sensory input from the digital world (says he, as he writes this on a computer for an electronic theological journal) does not guarantee we make good choices.   We have the potential to become world citizens, informed about every corner of the globe, but in many western countries the standards of geographical and cross-cultural awareness have seriously declined.   We have access to spectacularly useful information, but most of us diddle around on ephemeral blogs and listen to music as enduring as a snowball in a blast furnace.   Sometimes we just become burned out by the endless waves of bad news, and decide the best course is to turn the iPod volume up a bit.

Read the whole article here.

ht: Between Two Worlds

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