So, September last year, I started using a smart phone, blogging as DigiInfant, exploring the idea of whether this new technology would have any effect on the way I interact and work. I was sceptical at the outset. Now here I am, writing this blog on my new iPad. I guess you could say things are changing for this technological Neanderthal! Over the year I have had many questions. Early on I dipped my toe in Twitter and from time to time have dropped in for a swim, made so much easier by the smart phone, which I have to say I never leave the house without. Is it my master though? I will definitely turn it off on retreat.
The Twitter experience gave rise to an question early on: is Twitter just an opportunity for self promotion? Now I think, well, life offers plenty of opportunity for self promotion, as a preacher perhaps I should look closer to home…All depends how you use Twitter. Though, I still can’t quite get the hang of why people post ‘my week on Twitter’.
That aside, I have learned that Twitter does offer a space for the growth of community. I have ‘met’ people, encountered friends in a different way, learned new things through following up links, and picked up news. I was pretty sceptical about Twitter, but have changed my mind through the experience, and now have a broader understanding of who my neighbour is and a new appreciation of the genius of technology. I like reading tweets at the end of the day, finding what people are up to and what they are thinking. I tweet in bursts. Mostly, I don’t feel I have much to say, but I do enjoy reading tweets.
Now I find myself with an iPad. This is the woman who went to The CODEC Digital Symposium in 2009, with paper and pen. Why did I make this investment? Light, useful, powerful. I can get Daily Prayer on this and read it easily (phone screen too small), I can use it for preaching and teaching, I can read the Bible more easily on this, and it’s helpful for taking and storing notes. I also find myself appreciating how beautifully crafted this piece of technology is, whilst having a nagging question about resources and what kind of minerals make up this technological kit and where are they from and should I have spent money on this? Mostly I can mute the nag… But should I? I was asked to reflect honestly on this process of trying to become digitally literate and alive, and that is a question that still bothers me. Digital engagement requires resources. What are the environmental implications of this? Any pointers on responding to this question gratefully received,
Overall, this experiment has been interesting, sometimes scary, ethically challenging, ongoing, expensive and technologically mind bending. Trust me, it took a week to find the on/off button on the iPad.