A lot of my reading for this week’s sermon has been focused on Sabbath—how to keep it, why it ought to be kept, what prevents us from keeping it, etc. Whatever else a consistent and deliberate observation of Sabbath might protect us from, I think that our societal addiction/enslavement to technology would be high on the list. A couple of articles I’ve come across over the last few days from the New York Times’s “Your Brain on Computers” series (see here and here, for example) have simply reinforced my sense that one of the things that the inhabitant of twenty-first century postmodernity is most desperately in need of is unplugging.
Quentin Schultze is a writer who I think understands the worldview implications of our technological habits very well. The following addresses what he calls “informationism” and is taken from his Habits of the High-Tech Heart:
The glut of information at our disposal creates the illusion that we understand our predicament. We become promiscuous knowers, flitting from one bit of information to another, with no fidelity to an overarching worldview… We become informational voyeurs of life rather than responsible participants in the knowing of our own cultures and communities. “Surfing” is an apt word for our condition because it connotes living on the surface of reality.