Thursday, September 25, 2008

Life in an On-Demand Culture

Entertainment on demand. That is our culture. Anytime, anywhere. Television, music, video games, texting, phone calls, screens everywhere.

But what does this do to our soul? How do we make sense of life in an on-demand culture? Do we join it and absorb ourselves in it in order to somehow do something positive? Do we shun it? Do we adapt and integrate wisely? We should, at any rate, stop and ask such questions. Too many, I think, don't bother to do even that.

"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." -Matthew 10:16


david said...

Last weekend I went on a recruiting trip to my alma mater. I was conducting interviews alongside a former college mate who also works for my company.

He uses his phone to do email...very unnerving when managed improperly! I couldn't talk to him for five minutes without a distraction, and usually a trivial one that could have waited. The funny thing is he thinks he is being more efficient by using his phone this way, but he's actually putting a strain on those around him who require his attention; even while driving he emails on his phone!

I am convinced that email is one of the biggest time wasters. I tell my friends and co-workers to call me if they demand a reply within 24 hours.

It all goes back to that uncritical attitude that technology is automatically a good thing no matter how it is used.

Robert Velarde said...

David, thanks for the comments. I no longer carry a cell phone, except on rare occasions. It is liberating.

E-mail can be a real problem. I try to maintain a zero inbox, meaning that e-mail does not pile up for me. I use a system of three inbox folders - Action, Filed, and Later - and this has helped a lot.

On a related note, I have all three gigantic volumes of the letters of C.S. Lewis, as well as the older one-volume edition. I fear that the art of letter writing is not only being lost, but so much of what we say that is of lasting value is disappearing into the netherworld of cyberspace.

You are right in that tech is not always good. I disagree with McLuhan who said, "The medium is the message." In my view, the medium is what we make it (search my blog for posts along these lines), but that does not excuse us from utilizing discernment when it comes to technology.