Is Technology Bad for Our Souls?

Is technology bad for our souls? To address the challenges of the internet age, begin by thinking about what we want out of our time on this earth, author Andy Crouch recently argued.

When Crouch set out to write The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place, he decided the book would not be about screen time or limits. “I think parenting by limits is the most depressing possible parenting. … that’s a horrible way to think about parenting,” he said at a November 2017 Faith Angle Forum panel, “Technology: A Threat to the Human Soul?

Instead, he continued, the book would be about our desires: “What do we really want from our lives and for our children, our own children, our nephews and nieces, grandchildren, neighbors.”

Crouch isn’t a Luddite. He uses and celebrates the ways modern technology has enriched our lives, he said, noting that tech has been especially useful “for harm reduction or harm prevention.”

Rather, the problem with technological devices is in the negative effects that come with the ultimate goal of technology, which Crouch says is summarized well in the two-word phrase “easy everywhere.” Those negative effects are what Crouch calls the “three dis’s” — disengage, disburden, distract.

When our devices disengage, disburden and distract us, they make it more difficult for us to become the people we are meant to be, Crouch explained. And the people we are meant to be can be found in the words of Jesus when he was asked, “what is the greatest commandment?”

Paraphrasing Isaiah, Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31). (See also Matthew 22:36-40 and Luke 10:27.)

“What is it to be a person?” Crouch continued. “I think it’s to be a heart/soul/mind/strength complex, these four things bound together kind of inextricably, created for love. And what would it be to love with all of these four things?”

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Source: Christian Post