Trends in digital discipleship
Earlier today my attention was drawn to an article on the cognitive effects of hyperconnectivity on young adults. In other words – will those who have grown up as digital natives end up thinking differently to their parents because of it? Some of the conclusions drawn in the article are encouraging:
- They will have active brains and great multitasking abilities..
- They will settle for quick choices and count on the Internet as their external brain.
- Their effective on-line searching strategies will be well developed.
- They will be able to discern the quality and veracity of on-line information.
- Their ability to communicate findings and digital literacy will be high.
- Synthesizing data from many sources will be easy for them.
- They will easily discern relevant information from masses of data.
- Overall, they will be strategically future-minded
Others, though, are not so positive:
- More obvious traits will be a lack of patience and need for instant gratification.
- Lack of deep-thinking ability will be apparent due to “fast-twitch wiring.”
There are digital and learning experts in abundance who can drill down into what all this really means for those who are growing up in this hyper-connected age.
However, my questions relate to our spirituality.
- Will they be more or less inclined to step aside from external stimuli and seek time with God?
- Will their hyper-connectivity make them better prayers, on account of more information, or worse prayers on account of less time?
- Will the internet function not only as their ‘external brain’ (see above) but also as their external soul – where spiritual experiences become increasingly digitized?
In an old,old pre printing and pre e-ink book, King Solomon said that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. How does that translate in the Digital age, I wonder?