Time and Technology

By Michael Temple

Photo by Dreamstime

I recently watched a nightly news clip that made me chuckle. On the video, a smiling anchor-woman spoke enthusiastically about the possibility that in the future people would be able to read newspapers on a computer service that was picked up across telephone lines. A local man in the news story demonstrated how he could dial up the service through calling a special telephone number and cradling his rotary phone to a connector dock. He was excited, and it showed. The cost for downloading a San Francisco newspaper was only a mere $5 for each of the two hours it took to bring it to the Radio Shack TRS-80 computer that this gentleman had in his living room. It was all very cutting edge stuff…in 1981.

The irony of it all hit me as I viewed the video clip on my Smart phone — you know, the fully-functional touch screen phone that links up seamlessly and wirelessly to our cell carrier…in about 2 seconds?

In high school, a few of the computer “geeks” got me hooked on Android Nim. It was a highly engaging computer game where a little pixel-block guy came out and shot smaller square pixel blocks at another little guy. We thought it was so “high tech,” and it was…in 1981. Today, should I wish to become engaged in computer games (which I don’t), I could role-play through avatars in life-like action scenarios on screens that sport mind-blowing graphics. I could connect with others from around the globe and play against them…in less time than it takes to think it through.

What a difference 33 years can make! From wires to wireless, from laborious to effortless, from time-consuming to furiously fast. Technology makes me feel both young and old at the same time.

“But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase” (Daniel 12:4).

Maybe it’s because so much has changed since I was a teen. Perhaps I feel differently than younger people today because I’ve witnessed “first hand” the progression of technology, taking us from 8-tracks to cassettes, and from CD’s  to iPods. I can’t help but wonder though just how much more our knowledge will increase before God says “enough is enough.”