Technical blog and writings by Micah Webner.

Communications Shift

I just read The five year lag, a good post about church and technology by @wezlo. While this wasn't his main point, a bit of what he said jumped out at me because it's been on my mind this week. I had to move back a couple of paragraphs to find the connecting statement, because - honestly - I'd skimmed right past it.

So here are the two pieces taken out of context:

We are seeing a significant social shift in the ways people connect with each other that is literally re-mapping our brains.

Followed by:

It also further blurs the line between 'urgent' and 'important' because all of our data seems to demand immediate attention.

I was talking to my boss yesterday about how everything is an emergency to the end users we support. He's been telling users that when they put requests in our tracking system, it's not the same as pulling up to a clown's face and ordering food, then expecting instant results. I added to his analogy that ordering from the clown face doesn't mean you can now drive around all of the other cars waiting ahead of you and be next at the window, either.

In the inaugural episode of Back to Work, Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin talked about the notion that our lizard brain, lacking the real-world fight-or-flight triggers of a less civilized era, has latched onto all of this input as a threat. I think that relates to the urgent-vs-important dilemma, too.

So now that I've unpacked all of this, what am I trying to say? I'm not really sure. This started as just a short post to point out something I found interesting.

I guess if I were to map it back to the church, where Wezlo's post started, it would be in the context of my own needs. I need my church to be a place of solace, where I can unplug from all of this for a couple of hours and just be in God's presence.

That's not really easy to do as the "always on" sound guy, but I've always seen our role as technology providers to be like John the Baptist: "He must increase, but I might decrease." I tend to consider (and prefer) technology not as a gimmick, but as a medium to facilitate, as transparently as possible, what God is actually doing in our midst. So that's how I measure our use of technology: any use that draws attention to itself draws attention away from God.

But that wasn't really why I started writing this. For the past few months, I've been piecing together my own answers to questions opened up on Back to Work, which started with "what didn't you ship?" and moved on to more important questions about who I am and what I want out of life. I'm still working all of that out;  this is just one more part of that process.

This post was migrated and back-dated from my original post on Tumblr, which I have decided to move here.