Supermarkets are now beginning to offer Scan As You Go. Basically, you pick up a handheld device and simply scan your items as you buy them. For years, stores have been offering self-checkout, which is very similar. The basic idea is that you can do everything yourself and eliminate the need for additional store employees.
Our technological world is aggressively pushing us towards closer relationships with technology than people. Other examples are the 100’s of virtual friends that I have texted or instant messaged, but have not spoken to or seen in decades. Banks virtually discourage interaction with human beings. ATM’s are being continually improved to fulfill nearly every banking need with no human interaction.
When I was in Junior High, I remember my baseball team’s rides to away games focused on what we were going to listen to on the way to the game. We all debated and discussed and compromised on what to listen to. Nearly always, we settled on a particular Chuck Berry song that was very funny for Junior High boys, and yet mildly inappropriate. That is what I remember . . . the conversation, laughter, and the pure (or less than pure) human interaction.
Today, a van load of Junior High students have individualized entertainment. They all have headphones and an IPod or at least their cell phones in order to text virtual friends that are not present.
This is convenient and perhaps even easier, but is it better? Isn’t something lost? Don’t we struggle to love our neighbor when we don’t know them? Don’t our face-to-face conversations have infinitely more potential than our 3 sentence texts? What about hugs? What about facial cues? What about vocal tone? (ever misread an email?) What about the sound of laughter?
I am not anti-technology (as I type from my laptop, rather than calling everyone to tell them this), but simply anti- not acknowledging that our technology often has serious implications on true human relationships, which are the core of our created selves. Don’t sell out the real thing for imitations. (plus they are more expensive and often require 1-2 service agreements)
Hebrews 10:25, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing . . ."