Written by Ben Smith
Some say it’s impersonal and not real, others say it’s dangerous. Technology and the internet have taken centre stage in communities, and suffice to say that it has impacted heavily on religion and just about every other area of society. When we look at how we use technology in our faith, we don’t have to look very far to see its impact. Projected song words, emailed newsletters, this blog! We even had our third video Mission Conference just a few weeks ago.
There have been many positives for technology use in this broad landscape we call home. In Australia, Community of Christ has 21 congregations spread across the entire country. In addition, we have a large diaspora of connected families living a long way from any congregational building, who still have a yearning to be associated and a part of the larger church body. This is where technology can be extremely helpful. Just a few weeks ago during a confirmation service at West Pennant Hills, a family from Townsville joined in through skype, not just witnessing a life changing moment for a young man, but engaging in the spirit by singing and praying where we did. A powerful moment of community.
Whilst there are plenty of upsides, technology can have a negative impact on communities if it is left unchecked. Reduced social interaction, the need for constant visual stimulation and a larger gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ are just a few examples of how technology can reduce our life experience. Being able to be still and silent becomes almost impossible when we are so engrained in checking facebook feeds and instagram accounts, that we sometimes forget where we are.
It is important for us to realize that when we use technology to help communicate and connect with each other, it can be an uplifting and positive experience. This is the intention behind our new website design. It is here to help you connect with each other through this interactive blog, links to social media (facebook, twitter and instagram), and be a resource for you. Our focus is to keep you up to date with news and events, as well as current social issues that impact our communities. Use it in moderation :)