Technology can easily be seen as a distraction. If I had a penny for every time I heard an old person comment on people and their smart phones, I’d probably have a much nicer phone. “I think it’s funny how all of you have your faces in your phones. I don’t have a smart phone, couldn’t operate one.” I’ve heard that more times than I can count. It’s easy to see why it is that most people perceive faith and technology as opposing forces. Technology is the devil trying to distract us from what’s really important, or it’s a false idol. Personally I think that trail of logic runs dry pretty quickly, but there are those out there that believe it whole heartedly.
Technology is evil! Not really. Technology is a tool, inherently it is neither good nor bad. Can it be used for good? Yes, in most cases that’s the intent. Can it be used for bad? Yes, anything can be used for evil. Even religion can be used for evil, and that applies to all faiths and denominations. Personally I believe the relationship between science and Christianity to be similar to the relationship between faith and technology. You can put science and faith in opposition, and both make less sense than when you put them together.
It is harder to see technology and faith working together than science and faith, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t related. Observing the relationship between science and faith, I began to see God working in very small yet significant ways. God can easily change lives through technology. While the technology can directly improve lives, it can function in much less obvious ways. Maybe your phone dying could cause you to meet someone, or maybe a text alert could save your life. Technology both working, and failing could change the course of your day for the better. In the long run we don’t know what a small experience could result in. We don’t quite know what’s in store for us in the long run, small things could be more significant than we thought.
Linking a phone to a car so you can’t text and drive could save a lot of lives that would be lost otherwise. I could easily keep going with situations and circumstances through which God could use technology. The possibilities for technology to impact our lives is limitless, just as the uses God could find for it. We put limits on it when we decide that it evil. Imagine if instead of banning technology, the church used its resources to spread it. There are lives that could be vastly improved with more access. Access that we could potentially provide.
People shy away from it thinking that it’ll put space between them and God. While that may very well be the case, they may let that impact their opinions of technology. Dubbing it evil doesn’t do it justice, not while it could still impact other people’s lives. There are times and places that it might do more harm than good, and in those cases it’s alright to set it aside. I’m all for using a phone as a bible, until the phone starts distracting the user. If a person can’t focus with it, by all means set it aside for a while. That’s completely different from telling people that it’s the devil.
Part of what can make technology dangerous is not understanding it. By hiding from technology we put more people at risk. Instead of calling it evil and turning away from it, we should learn how to use it to its full potential.