A rant on Technology

The Internet is fundamentally different from previous technologies. Books gathered. Radio gathered. Internet scatters. When a book was written by an author it carried the intonation of the author, the intention of the author. A few authors publish a few books read by an audience orders of magnitude larger than the authorship base. Readership is a communal experience which brought people a disparate distances together - intellectually, relationally, theologically. Families gathered around the radio to have a shared experience with millions of other families across nations and the world - again, gathering. The Internet is a scattering experience. We have a billion voices saying a billion things to a billion people, and many of those "voices" aren't human. The digital experience approaches the digital version of an uncanny valley - the idea that a computer generated person can be so close to appearing human, yet there is an element that places a space between us and it - likewise with online technology. You cannot look your lover in the eye over the internet. The camera is offset from the screen. Staring into her eyes will give her the view of you looking askance. Staring directly into the camera, you don't see your lover. The senses are reduced to vision and audio, and those senses are facsimiles. They are compressed, packeted and reconstituted like cheap macaroni and cheese out of a box. 

Put otherwise - the Roman Roads were emplaced before the arrival of Christ, who came in the fullness of time. The printing press was in place prior to the arrival of Luther. The radio in place before the arrival of Walter A Maier. Who is the great theologian-celebrity of the Internet age? There isn't. No one knows you are a dog on the Internet. We have a billion voices saying a billion things to a billion people. No one speaks God's Truth in its word and purity to the same audience that Jesus has, that Luther had, or WAM had. 

It makes no sense when someone says "Well, this is just another technology the Church can use"

It makes no sense when someone says "Technology is indifferent"

It makes no sense when someone says "But we can reach people with the Gospel"


The medium is the message (McLuhan). What do you say about the Gospel when you use a technology that does not allow for eye-to-eye communication, technology which neglects the physicality, the corporality of the Body of Christ.

You cannot love over the Internet.

You cannot worship over the Internet.

Stop claiming the internet is indifferent. 

It is different.

(some elements may be inspired by Byung-Chul Han, In the Swarm, a fantastic little volume).