The Space Age

September 2nd, 2010 – by Laura Lehman Amstutz, Editors Blog

A few weeks ago a former professor posted this article from the New York Times on his Facebook page “Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime” Here’s the synopsis: If we’re constantly “plugged in” to our digital devices we don’t learn as well as we would if we had space to process those things we’re learning. If we fill every spare minute with entertainment or news or work we aren’t really processing what we are experiencing.

The real irony for me was that I read this article off my phone while I was eating breakfast.

We are moving into a time where we aren’t limited anymore by the technology. We can’t say that we won’t check our email because there isn’t a computer nearby, the computer is in our pocket. Because the technology doesn’t limit us anymore it’s up to our own discipline.

Unplugging and creating space is a spiritual discipline and sometimes I wonder  if it’s one the church fosters. I recently heard of a pastor who uses Twitter during his sermon to get feedback as he’s preaching. Part of me is impressed by the ability to multi-task. And part of me is not sure this is the spirit the church ought to be fostering in this age.

If our brains need space to process and learn, how are we creating that space in our worship communities? Would we do better to create more silent space and reflective time during worship, rather than adding more video clips, technology, and powerpoints? Are we really an age in need of space?

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