I want a pair of Google glasses.
A pair of glasses that are basically a computer in your field of vision. How cool would they be?
I actually got into an argument with some of my students a few months back. They seemed more skeptical then me about the possibility or usefulness of something like this. It is almost like they do not appreciate how quickly technology is changing and developing!
I am 32 years old. I remember the first time I went on the internet: in the tech ed classroom in high school, back in 1997. Somehow I made it through college without owning any sort of computer! I used computer labs on campus. I did not get a cell phone until 2003.
Freshman college students are 18 now which means they were maybe 2 or 3 when I first went on the internet. They do not remember a time without the internet. Not only do they all have cell-phones, they have phones that can go on the internet anytime and anywhere.
I don’t think they appreciate how amazing that is! Though I am sure my parents might say I do not appreciate how amazing things are that they did not have that I take for granted.
David Kinnaman writes:
In this chapter I argue that the next generation is so different because our culture is discontinuously different. That is, the cultural setting in which young people have come of age is significantly changed from what was experienced during the formative years of previous generations. In fact I believe a reasonable argument can be made that no generation of Christians has lived through a set of cultural changes so profound and lightning fast. Other generations of Christ-followers have endured much greater persecution. Others have had to sacrifice more to flourish or even survive. But I doubt many previous generations have lived through as compounded and complicated a set of cultural changes as have today’s Christians in the West.
Kinnaman, David (2011-04-01). You Lost Me (Kindle Locations 538-543). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.
This change is not limited to technology, but that is a primary area. Kinnaman tells a humorous story about how a friend of his recalls going to see Star Wars numerous times in theaters because, in the 1970s, he was not sure if he’d ever see it again. There were no DVDs (or VCRs) yet. To see it outside of a theater, you’d have to wait till it was shown on television. What we have today is unlimited access to almost anything.
Whenever my wife asks me a question about something, from how to fix a broken appliance to where to find a recipe, I respond, “did you ask Google?” Access to the internet, unlimited access to all the information we want or need, changes everything.
How does this access to information via rapidly and ever-changing technology change how we talk about faith?
Kinnaman talks a little about how this can be an opportunity for the church. One thing that jumped out at me was that young people do not just want to be passively soaking in whatever a preacher says, they want to engage and participate. Perhaps one reason some walk away from the faith is that the church services they attend are very passive: all the action is on stage and done for an audience, kind of like a movie or concert.
Though, you could argue church was never meant to be a passive experience for most in attendance. So maybe technology will drive us back to the original idea of a community in which all have, as Paul says, “When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation” (1 Corinthians 14:26).
What can be done to allow more interaction and participation in our faith communities?