Monday, July 2, 2012

The Technology Curve

How do you deal with the technology curve? 

In the last few weeks I have heard several bits and pieces of information that later I found to be somewhat linked, at least in my mind.  Here are some of the things that caused me to consider.

  • Listening to a speaker from the Logos corporation (a Bible software program), Viola heard that when people 25 and older hear the word "study," the word "book" comes to mind.  When people younger than 25 hear the word "study," the word "computer" comes to mind.
  • Viola also heard a statistic stating that a high percentage of the information young people gather is from the internet and not from books.
  • I read a blog post that talked about the "new internet."  A few months ago, more information was accessed on the internet via smart phones than via computer-based web browsers.  With this shift, businesses will need to spend more time developing web sites and apps that are suited for smart phones and less for web browsers.
  • Businesses and ministries are using social networking sites more and more to try to influence and/or serve people.
  • Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, Blogs, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube . . .
 Now, I have never been one to be on the cutting edge of technology.  I didn't have a cell phone until months after we were married.  I have probably sent fewer than 50 text messages in my life.  I still do not have a smart phone.  I have never played with an iPad.  I am a dayplanner and pen kind of guy.  That is just me.

While I'll never be the one informing my friends about the specs of the newest Mac or the release date of the next iPhone, I don't want to needlessly bury my head in the sand and be oblivious to the changes around me.  I am called to be a minister of the Gospel.  To me, that means two things: I must know God.  I must know people.  In our day, people's lives are wrapped up in technology- what am I to do?  Here are some of the specific questions I am asking myself:

1. How do I stay familiar with the latest without investing too much time into it?
2. How do I know what social media outlets to use? 
- For example, MySpace seemed to be really big when it came out.  Now, I rarely hear about it.  I don't want to invest time learning something that is just going to go out of style.
3. How can I use these outlets effectively in the ministry? 
- I don't want technology to take from sound Bible teaching/preaching and person to person ministry, but I also don't want to forsake a potential good tool that would help each of those things.

I haven't come to any tangible conclusions.  That's where you come in.  I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

Have you come to some conclusions about these technologies?  What do you do to keep up with the times, without allowing the times to envelope your entire existence?

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