Doing Less with More?
I’m beginning to wonder if we are not addicted to technology. I admit, I’m laptop dependent. I have a poor functioning left mouse button on my current laptop and though the thing is under warranty, I am not sure I want to be without this for the two plus weeks needed to repair it! I remember the days when I got a Circuit City warranty that fixed my laptop inside of seven days. Now these extended warranties are two to three weeks out. That’s a long time to be without my brains. Everything I know is stored somewhere on the hard drive!
Anyway, speaking of being technologically dependent, I’ve been thinking about getting a different cell phone. Not that I need one. After all, who really needs a cell phone anyway? I wonder how productive Edwards would have been if he had had one? He managed to do so much with so little!
As a lover of all things Logos, I have been tempted to buy the iPhone just to use my Logos Platinum on it. Ok . . . why do I need an iPhone again . . . to use my Logos? Riiiiiiiiiight! So now while I am driving, instead of text messaging, I can search Logos and work on my next sermon? Or I can update my Facebook or surf the web or manage my finances or fiddle with the dozens of other “apps” that are just a touch screen away. Besides, all my friends are getting the iPhone.
But for me, switching is too expensive. The new phone isn’t free (esp. the more memory powerful version), even with a new account, and then I have to pay to get out of the old cell phone contract. Additionally, the monthly usage charge is spendy. And the iPhone is expensive to replace if damaged. As I understand it, the only company that offers an extended warranty is Best Buy, and it is expensive. And for what? To do what I can already do on my laptop but while I am eating a hamburger and out of internet range? This I really need to do? So, if the Sunday sermon is boring, I can update my status or order a pizza? I really need to be able to do this?
I’ll admit—it’s tempting. But would an iPhone reeeeeeeeeally improve my productivity? In the end, what would the new technology do for my ministry or work? Seems to me like too much sugar for a nickel. Don’t call me an old fuddy duddy. I remember my dear esteemed theology prof RDM who “affirmed” he would never get a computer. “Can’t teach an old dog new tricks” or some lame excuse like that. But in the end, he caved! And how we blessed him for it, for he was able to produce better notes and keep them current. Ok, so switching from a typewriter to a computer is a big deal. But adding an iPhone? Am I just being . . . technologically prudish? Maybe. But let’s pause a bit before we all drink the Kool Aid.
An iPhone—what will it do for me? (as I draw a big red bull’s eye on my forehead). I know my good friends Matt and Lee and Bill and Andy all have one. But for me . . . I will pass for now. I think I need to be careful that I don’t waste my time trying to save it! All of these toys cost money and take time to learn. And in the end what do they really do for me? As a minister of the gospel, I, of all people, should avoid things like covetousness . . . my life does not consist in what I possess. Things will have a way of possessing us if we are not careful. If you buy it today, it will be obsolete tomorrow anyway, and then what? A search for the next generation of gadgets, even if I don’t really need it. So I am cautious about the next new techno fad. Do I really need an iPhone? Do I? Not today! To me it seems like rather questionable stewardship. My phone works well, though it doesn’t scramble eggs. It does do what I bought it to do. The iPhone may be the Swiss Army knife of cell phones . . . but how many times will I use the “saw” anyway? What? You didn’t know that your Swiss Army knife can come with a saw? Better dash out and buy a new knife! Never know when you will need to cut down a tree.