Digital communication has grown significantly since Tim Berners Lee invented the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989. New technologies are being developed at such a pace it is difficult to keep up. Of course, all of these new technologies have created a busyness for many. Some for good use, some not so good. This book reminds me that children need to know their parents are taking more than just a casual interest in their lives. In particular their involvement in technology.
In their book, “The Digital Invasion” by Dr Archibald D. Hart and his daughter Dr Sylvia Hart Frejd they make what I believe is a significant contribution to understanding how technology is shaping you and your relationships.
Ralph Waldo Emerson put it like this while reflecting upon changes in the mid 1800s. He summarised our current dilemma with ‘digital technology’ very well.
“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
IMMIGRANTS AND NATIVES
The book, “The Digital Invasion” sets out to educate both the digital natives (those born after the advent of digital technology) and the digital immigrants (those born before). Our children and grandchildren who are described as the digital natives have been born in to this digital revolution. They understand immediate communication and use ‘smart’ technology every day to interact on a virtual level. Instant worldwide communication is available through Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Text and Email to name but a few.
However, our young people cannot just be left alone to discover the virtual world for themselves without parental interest, support and guidance . We are living in a communication revolution. Once you become aware of the digital invasion you realise that this generation is continually ‘plugged-in.’ This book urges parents not to remain aloof from this technology revolution but rather to understand what their children are facing in this ‘present evil age.’
This book makes us aware of the need for open and honest ‘face to face’ communication. This Invasion has not only impacted young people but whole families fall under it’s influence. Social Media has made us expect more from technology and less from each other.
WE ARE TOLD TO REDEEM THE TIME!
Sherry Turkle says, “Technology promises to let us do anything from anywhere with anyone. But it also drains us as we try to do everything everywhere. We begin to feel overwhelmed and depleted by the lives technology makes possible. We may be free to work from anywhere, but we are also prone to being lonely everywhere.”
In making the most of the hours in our day it is both a privilege and a challenge to find ways to spend wholesome times together as a family and not to allow electronic media to become the “other” parent!
WHAT THE BOOK COVERS
I think that this book is both timely and sobering. It is not a book written to oppose technology but it does challenge us to discern the effects of the revolution and what actions to take. When the tsunami hit the shores of Indonesia in 2004 thousands of people died and the huge wall of water left unspeakable damage to that country. The digital invasion has been described as a “digital tsunami.” We must take action and this book will help parents, grandparents and teachers to understand what we are dealing with and how to show the way to a healthier way of Internet use.
The book covers the need for Parents, Teachers and Educators to awaken their relationship with technology. It deals with the myth of multitasking. The book bravely and wisely deals with more serious cyber problems such as Internet pornography, Cybersex and Cyber-Affairs, Sexting, Internet Gambling and the addiction risk of Video Games.
The end of the book wisely talks about protecting our God-space and gives practical tips on how to implement that process. I am not convinced that this will be an easy task but one in which we will need to be dependent upon God for wisdom. It will require discernment and open and honest rapport between family members. This is not a time for judgement but for grace.
Timothy Keller in his book “Counterfeit Gods” says, “Idols are anything that become more important to us than God; anything that can absorb our heart and imagination more than God, and that seek to give us what God alone can give.”
If you take Keller’s statement seriously alongside the thought that technology presents itself “as the architect of our intimacies!” (Turkle) then we must take action that is both wholesome and loving. But, we must take action.
DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND BUY THIS BOOK
I believe this book is worth reading whether for your own benefit, your family, your pupils or for those who understand that ‘technology’ can be used for good but have lost control! You can order this book from Amazon by clicking on the link at the start of the book review or on the image to the left. Thank you.
PS: It will be worth watching this TED Presentation by Sherry Turkle.