Transcription

Welcome to Nate 90!

What is technology? Everybody has some concept of technology, and almost everybody talks about it in some way or another.

But, what is technology?

I am not after an actual definition of technology here. I am after how we perceive technology. John Dyer in his book From the Garden to the City on handling technology from a Christian perspective discusses people's perspective on technology in his first chapter:

Almost all of the tools we use on a daily basis - cars, telephones, televisions, ballpoint pens, washing machines, lightbulbs, air-conditioning, and so on - were invented in the past 150 years, but these tools are so normal to us that it seems strange to call them technology.

In other words, at some point "technology" becomes normal in a culture to the point that it doesn't seem like technology anymore - at least to some people. John Dyer a few pages later describes a New York Times author lamenting because children of today are on social media late into the night instead of spending hours hanging out and talking on the phone. Dyer points out that this author did not consider that talking on the phone is also using a form of technology. He concludes:

Just a generation ago, talking on the phone for hours would have seemed as foreign and unhealthy as the texting habits of today's children. If we were to dig even further back in the archives, a pattern would quickly emerge in which the older generation is worried about the technology of the new generation, while they are largely unaware of their own technological heritage. How can we question the next generation's technology if we don't even understand our own?

My goal today is not to shirk off the the evaluation of technology by any generation - young, old, or in-between. Whichever generation you find yourself in, I challenge you to think bigger and to go deeper on your understanding of technology.

The pattern for most people is to normalize the technology of their youth and eventually become somewhat suspicious of the newer technology. In the last few years, My wife and I have begun to reach that point. We are starting to roll our eyes at the rage of today's high schoolers and college students. Between my wife and I, I am definitely the one who is known for being on the cutting edge of technology, and yet, I too can say that I have begun to reach my technology stopping point. I'm no longer into all the latest stuff.

So I return to the question I asked at the beginning. What is technology?

Take some time to answer to answer that question carefully. Then, answer the question, what is a right perspective on technology?