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May 29, 2022 1:12 am
As we continue our series studying technology and the church- in this episode, Jason Thacker and Bernie Dake discuss how we’ve arrived at this place in time where we are conditioned be, “attached” to our devices. Again- as we continue to state, technology isn’t bad- but let’s make sure we are using the technology around us in healthy, God-honoring ways.
Series: Discipled by Algorithms
Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life.
Welcome back to words of life.
I'm Cheryl Gillam and I'm Bernie DK Bernie so good to be with you today and you know were helping you are enjoying the series discipled by algorithms with our guest, Jason Thacker, we are now on our fourth week of this seven week series and today Bernie you and Jason discuss how we become trained to be connected and at times, maybe even addicted to our devices wow that hits home brother that hits home is a great illustration of Pavlov's dog when you take aside psychology class in college. You know, every time the bell rang. The dog's mouth would eventually start to rule because they knew that there was treat coming I'm like that with the haptics on so do you know that you have like a thing on your under settings called screen time so you can like turning on and see how much time daily, weekly, daily, you are spending on your phone. I didn't until you just started trying to bother. I think I need to turn the light is still going remind up and I'm ashamed to say mine is five hours and 44 minutes a day this week and so I've struggled with this for a while, you know, I mean really free for a very long time and I do use it for good things to do and words to him in the other the Bible happen all the thing on their screen time doesn't mean that it's bad now it does. It really doesn't. But the truth is is that it just is indicative of like how much time I'm spending on this little device right here if I could say anything the importance of knowing those types of things is realizing your habits and whether or not you've become an essential sleep to them as opposed actually being present for those around you family your spouse or significant others, your children, so the good to lead to use. Absolutely yeah. Good works. Welcome back doors of life. I'm so excited. Still excited to have Jason Thacker in the studio Jasons written a book called the age of AI artificial intelligence in the future of humanity, and for those that know me.
It is a stretch to read this stuff because you speak on such a level that's I think amenable to the human spirit, because I don't necessarily think I would pick this up for volunteer reading, but even just getting of the first chapter I'm captivated I can't stop thinking the problem is I only got a few days ago so I got a I'm so worried we are so grateful you're here if you listen to the other episodes you know that were talking about all things tech and the kingdom of God and Jasons got such a great view on this as an ethicist is a seminarian and as a father and as a husband and all those things that we can each relate to class a little about impulsive urge to check our devices. A good story for me as I work in a team of 14 people and the leadership part of that team.
One of the requests not so subtly to me was, maybe leave devices in another room and were doing meetings because for me it's very easy to get distracted. I just assume that everything is urgent because my wrist is vibrating or my phone vibrated or there's another notification of my computer that I can't stand to see that little red dot that this is a problem for everybody is everything so urgent it's not and that's one of things, it was years ago there was a Netflix documentary called the social dilemma and one of things I found really interesting to talk about the shape of technology what it's doing to us in various ways still regulate this industry and all these different kind of ethical issues that, one thing that really stood out to me was one of the interviewees was asked and he talked about technology and he says is not really question do you check twitter in the morning. The question is do you check it before you get out a better while you're going to the bathroom and I think this kind of employee speaks of the impulsive urge the check is now I wake up in the morning and I immediately expect to see all these little red bubbles all all the things I've missed not thinking that really everyone's been asleep like I have hopefully even know maybe my overseas friends might be emailing or sharing something online, but by and large is, but that time is not a lot of people sharing things, but I expect there to be things will pick up my phone and Michael what did I miss and that's one of those subtle things we talked on previous episodes about the way technology shaping us.
It's forming a service discipling us to use language that I like is it's it's forming us to think that there's always something were missing you know really that tagline on Twitter or on Facebook is what's happening and that you know that prompting to put something to tweak something to share something and said there's this immediacy that speed this impulsive edge.
We always think something's going on and were missing out somehow. But really the way of wisdom, especially from the Scriptures themselves is slowing down asking these can be questions about who is God was mean to be human with the nature of the world, but also just slowing down and realizing that not everything is urgent. Some of the things the most important things are right before us. So I remembering out, I'll confess this to you.
I've had my sons bring me my phone and for me that was incredibly convicting because I didn't ask them to yeah they brought me my phone because that is always on his phone, so naturally they think will daddy needs his phone because what is it you know he's probably missing something or he's always working, and I think that something that will I'm training my children subtly to think that that's the way life is that you always have to have your devices so we tried to really reshape a lot of that are about the way we approach technology the way that I teach them about the bounds of technology in trying. I'm not perfect.
I feel very often on this but that something that my wife and I have constant conversations. Yeah, not only about putting our devices down but even questions of you know, did you see this online will. I didn't see that. But did you see this and this idea that were always missing something but we also live incredibly isolated lives online, were everything's curated and formatted just for me just for you.
Those algorithms and it's very isolating and so that's what were teaching our children is trying to shape and form how they approach these type of things using the way of wisdom using the biblical wisdom and the biblical literature and really the Christian ethic because ethics isn't something far often disconnected from our lives.
It's our everyday lives.
Everything we do is ethical in nature and so slowing down and asking some of those hard questions and being okay with uncomfortableness not having my phone with me at all times. Things like that to search a car, retrain myself about how to think better about the state we were talking about the distraction of social media when were staring at our devices. I want our listeners to hear this because I'm guilty of it instead of engaging with those physically around us. What message do you think that sense to them and I think it obviously is important something even with my children is whatever's on daddy's phone must be more important than us or cites more pressing things like that and sometimes you know it's not a bad thing that were we have to check your devices or I like to have my phone.
I like to know that my wife's new Ghana trip and I want to check in with her and things like that so I think we have to get out of this mindset again what we talked about previous episodes is technology good or bad, we want the answer we just want the simple answer was a lot more nuance in that course. It's good and bad in some sense, and so we have to recognize the way of wisdom and care in nuance, we can subtly communicate to others that what were doing and really ourselves are more important than they are and then we start to see people that we interact with online disassembly avatars. They're not really people there just people that you know they're an avatar that I can tweet out or share out or post outdoor dunk on Sadie someday terrible things to interact with ever way I want and say things I never would say to a person face-to-face across the table like this because technologies discipling us it's forming us to see not only ourselves but also to see other people as less than they really are, which is ultimately an image bearer of the Almighty God. And so that's where we have to start to ask these hard questions and when we put down our devices or when we have our devices we search or realize these are real people just like me and you and so maybe we don't have to say that thing that we want to say online or that is anger that thing that's going to get supplies from our tribe sure is to think about wisdom. Charity nuance, but also speak truth. We can speak truth.
We don't have to speak in compromise our beliefs and especially as we live them out in the public what advice, what better habits. Could you maybe instruct our listeners to consider when you think about disconnecting yeah so I there's a quote for my Canadian Foss for a long time ago. He says that the one of the problems with technologies that we often think we need more technology to solve the problems that technology itself and reduce that's right.
So we're addicted to our screen so we just need screen time map that will fix it. And that's really, shortsighted view. Now I'm not saying screen time maps are various pieces of tools and technologies are bad by any means, but we have to understand what they are and can other limitations.
I think some of the better habits we can create is just simply putting our phone down. I know that's hard and I know that's hard but I tried to specially dinner my wife listen to this should be laughing. She knows I fail at this often but I try to keep it in another room while we have a phone free table just recently.
It sounds simple to many folks as we all have our kids and watch iPads at the table. Now, does that mean it's perfect. We always do well now but were trying trying to say like we don't have to always be on our devices in our screens and so one of the ways putting them things down, but another one is learning these tools with our children. One of the things there's a difference between what I call active screen time and passive screen time, so active, meaning that they're doing your actively doing something rather than just scrolling or just mindlessly, doom scrolling through social media or Irish articles and stuff do the same active so emailing, sharing, Kenneth interacting, drawing, creating coding, whatever it is you're doing something will be more active, so we turn it she said to her children as well. I'll let them play an educational game for a long longer time than I'll let them watch a YouTube video sure because there's and they're actively engaged versus passive user. Some of the kind of habits we can start to form over time is teaching better ways to use technology rather than just saying you know, here's a device just go for it or saying all wall technology bad you can't use it right. We have to train this isn't this is the world in which our children will inhabit and are inhabiting in their not to be able to be off devices forever. That's right.
So, let's model better habits. This model better ways of engaging these things, not only for children sake but also her own. Of course, so that we can ultimately go back to that ideal of loving God and loving our neighbor through the use of our technologies in the same way the technology is discipling us if we rely on the technology to entertain our children yeah were those those young people that we just don't have time for will there they will be discipled and unfortunately there's so much evil out there. You have to be very careful what they consume.
You think you for that word choice of them were grateful that you're here if you haven't already heard Jason's written a book called the age of AI, and it's available anywhere you can buy your books is also an audio form.
If you want to just listen to the book while you're driving. But not while you're listening to words of life.
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