Move forward cautiously. That’s good advice as we blaze new trails on what’s been called “The Digital Frontier.” I can’t help but think about the wise words of Marshall McLuhan, spoken decades before the smartphone, about technology and its effects on us as human beings: “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” Yet even though these words prove more and more prophetically accurate with each passing day, we simply keep walking forward with making any adjustments that might result in more healthy use of the technological tools with which we’ve been gifted.
When will we listen? I know from my work that an endless parade of parents are scratching their heads in dismay, wondering what it is that’s happened to their kids and their family relationships because they chose not to engage in reflective thinking before putting those smartphones and other screens into the hands of their kids. Even though much damage has been done due to our collective ignorance, it’s not too late to change course!
Today, I want to encourage you to sit down for an hour and watch this conversation between two of the best contemporary thinkers on how technology is a tool that is shaping all of us. Both Andy Crouch and Jonathan Haidt are leaders I’ve come to highly respect, and the fact that the folks at the Trinity Forum brought them together for this discussion was a great move. Both of these thinkers are in many ways thinking for us, and we need to tap into their wisdom if we hope to flourish as God’s people on this unfolding digital frontier.
Youth workers and parents. . . please take some time to watch, to listen, and then to act. . .