I’ve discovered that the local coffee shop has wifi, so I’m sitting here eating my bagel and drinking my coffee and listening into the next table talk about Plato. The folks are arguing whether today’s kids are smarter than kids in Plato’s time, and trying to discern whether technological advancement equals greater conceptual inteliigence.
They bring up an interesting point. I remember the first emerging event I attended (the conference that brought me into this whole conversation) the leaders focused quite a bit on technology. “Postmoderns are technologically savvy,” the leaders said. “You have to jump on the technological bandwagon.”
And so the church, in its desire to reach out and market to a new audience, sets up a website or establishes an e-mail list or purchases a video projector and adds Powerpoint (or, for the more technologically advanced, MediaShout) to the worship service thinking that they are now equipped to minister with the techno kids.
The power of techology in the world today is not the acquisition of technology, but rather in the way that technology is used. Technology in and of itself is not the answer. It is the way that tecnology functions to facilitate community that does.
Take the blog for example. From a technological standpoint blogs are very low tech. They are unsophisticated web pages that rarely harness the multimedia capabilities of the web. The power of the blog is not in the technology, but in the way that persons use them to share information and conversation. They facilitate community by allowing us to “converse” over time. The facilitate community according to our varied schedules. I don’t have to look at the clock to see if it’s an appropriate time to check in with Rudy. No, I simply head over to Urban Onramps to see what’s on his mind, and he checks in here to see what’s on mind.
Several folks have remarked recently on the future of nano-technology, suggesting that the technology will change the world. It may be true. However, it isn’t he technology that will change the world, but the next application that utilizes that technology to facilitate community and connection.