The first song I played at my wedding reception was “Connected,” by Stereo MCs.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but a song I picked because it was good to dance to actually carries a lot of meaning in my life.
After all, it’s my job to connect people. As a division director at St. Anthony Messenger Press, I connect people within the company to one another, and my larger goal is to connect the products we make to Catholics around the world. Ultimately, the biggest goal is to connect our customers — and myself — to the Christian community and to God.
To do this, I spend a lot of time thinking about new technologies we can use to spread the Good News online, through social media and through mobile.
The catch? Many of the technologies that simplify connections actually discourage them, too.
He encouraged the audience to be open to God’s presence in the virtual world and to be mindful of the ways in which tech can contribute to isolation. He then posed this question: How can we trend away from that isolation?
Thomas made note of the fact that there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. One can extrapolate that beyond just talking to friends and family to talking to God, our Father. Spending time in church, he noted, is a great way to “rehabilitate the senses” we abandon online.
I loved that expression!
Usually we use the word “rehabilitation” in reference to recovering from an injury or, perhaps, an addiction. In many ways, I could argue that I am addicted to technology. I’m useless without my Blackberry, and my world sometimes seems to revolve around Facebook. Truth is, I’m more a product of modern society and culture than I would like to admit.
But I am also a child of God, as are you. So although we shouldn’t necessarily shun modern technology, we should be mindful of not duping ourselves into thinking that instantaneous information and accessibility are equal substitutes for true connectedness.
As Thomas said, “Citizens of the virtual world can remember their incarnational selves.”
What are some ways you suggest to avoid the tech trap?