Humane Technology, Your Host Culture, and You

I spend a lot of time thinking about technology. As a mom, I think about how it affects my kids’ values, their development, their well-being. As a wife, I think about how it’s affecting my marriage–not if, but how. Because folks, we spend a lot more time parallel than we used to, and not the good kind of parallel. We’re both watching TV, but we’re both still on our phones. That’s got to be having an impact.

Photo by Buro Millennial on Pexels.com

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/to-learn-how-to-practice-humane-technology-look-to-the-amish/2020/02/17/c79fa0ba-36fc-11ea-bf30-ad313e4ec754_story.html

But I’ve never spent much time thinking about technology as a Christian, and the above article has me thinking maybe I should. How is technology affecting our community? This idea of ethical technology use is one that’s going to be rattling around in my head for a while before I land anywhere, but I think there’s a lot to learn from our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Amish church. Yes, there’s a lot of legalism, but there’s also a lot of care and concern for the whole person and the whole community.

I read this book ages ago. I probably need a re-read. Probably annually.

If you’re interested, here’s more thoughts on tech addiction and ethical usage: https://www.wired.com/story/center-for-humane-technology-tech-addiction/

I want technology in my home: I think rejecting entirely is probably foolish, especially in the missionary life, where political situations can become unstable at the drop of a hat. But I also want to teach my kids (and myself) moderation. Occasional tech fasts (often on Sundays…but not this one, apparently) have kept me grounded. Getting some distance from my phone often feels like the best thing I can do for my mental health. But this isn’t easy in Haitian culture: my friends expect me to answer the phone, every time it rings. So I just had to explain to them that I’m not going to. Were they hurt? A little. But you know, that boundary has helped me maintain my own mental health. I needed it. I needed to give myself permission to unplug.

Is tech use something you’ve discussed as a family? As a community of believers? How does your host culture use technology? Where do you come down?

Happy Sunday, mamas…or whatever day it is where you are. (Curse you, time zones.)

Just an FYI that I am an Amazon affiliate, so if you purchase something from one of the links above, they pay me a small fee that doesn’t affect the price of what you bought.

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