Thursday, February 21, 2013

Technology and the Christian - Part 15

See previous articles for context. Part 1 here; Part 14 here

Another difference I've discovered about technology media compared to print media is that it tends to hold our attention more. Often that's because a video is somehow involved, or because the communication is fluid. That is it's changing. There are new postings and responses all of the time. It used to be when a person was reading a book and another person in the room wanted to say something, it wasn't too difficult to pull the attention away from the book to listen to the other person. When that happened to me, I would usually put a finger down where I had left off and then listen to what was being said and reply back and forth if that was called for. Now, when someone interrupts a person using a computer or phone or other device, it's hard for the person to break away. There's a tendency to keep looking back at the device that has grabbed our attention. This leaves the other person feeling like they are not as important as whatever it is that's showing on the screen.

One other related issue is that it used to be that when family gathered in the living room after a meal or whatever, they would easily carry on conversations. Even if someone was browsing a magazine or knitting or something like that, the conversation could continue. When there were normal lulls in the conversation, someone would bring up another topic and the conversation would continue. What's happening now is that we feel the tug to keep doing something “profitable” during those lulls and so we pull out the phone or computer so that we can keep tabs on something else, other than what's going on in the room. The problem is that it is not as easy to return to the conversation again and people don't know whether to interrupt or not. Some people even plan ahead so that they have their device ready for those lulls. When they do this, it looks to others like they are prepared for the conversation to be uninteresting and unimportant. It sends exactly the opposite signal from the one we should be sending.

...To Be Continued...
Part 16 available after it is published here.

PDF version of the entire series

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