Living Well

May 16, 2010

Two Sides of Computer Technology

Really, I am a novice when it comes to computer technology.  I don’t fully understand all the do’s and don’ts and how it all actually works.  I spend time every day with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other avenues of the computer age that are of help to me, but still don’t fully grasp it or all its applications.

I do, however, understand its value as well as how easily we can be swept into its Black Hole of poor use, abuse, addiction and self destructive behavior.  The convenience of computer technology, for me, has allowed me to share with friends worldwide, keep current with news happening in the furtherest reaches of the planet, and find thousands of educational articles and resources that enhance my life, teaching and being fully human.  This marvel of our age has also helped me understand the business environment and how the web is essential for today’s commerce.  Computer technology, no doubt, has helped me to live well, engage colleauges everywhere, and live a more informed life than ever before.

The other side, however, is that the convenience of our computers can become a Black Hole with power to suck us into its more unseemly side.  There are many places on the web that are of the most unsavory and morally degrading places we can go.  These places beckon us to the most inhuman and morally flawed places of human existence.  But this technology can also simply just suck away our time; time from doing good work, advancing relationships, or merely spending energy in quite meditation on the blessings of life.  Technology can make us merely spectators to life, never engaging or really living it.  Computer technology, for all its good, can suck us into passivity and ambivelance to what is happening everywhere.

The two sides of computer technology.  We are forced to make ongoing decisions about it daily.  And that, to me, is where character, mission, and personal choices step in to guide us.  Over many months of blogging, I have tried to lay out the items that help us to live well.  In the end, it all comes down to choices we make based on our character and who we really hope to be over our lifetime.  It all comes down to whether we will be only observers to life or actively engage life with all our energy and passions.

No ranting or raving is embedded in this blog about the evils of computers and technology in general.  My post is simply about choices; choices we have to make every time we click our mouse on the computer.  I encourage you to make choices that help you to live well.  Always know that both choices lay at the end of your index finger.  Blessings, grace and peace as you make that daily conscious decision on the side of living well and engaging the best computer technology has to offer.

David Neidert



  1. Often when I talk with people about technology, their first inclination seems to be to categorize things into good/evil, helpful/harmful: LinkedIn is good because it is a professional networking site, but Facebook is bad because it is a timewaster, etc. More often than not, I find that the “good” and the “bad” are bound up together… It is our own actions that make a thing “good” or bad, like the bronze serpent. Once it was a reminder of goodness and hope… Once it was an evil and had to be destroyed, never to be made again.

    Comment by Sarah J. Blake — May 21, 2010 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for the insight. Technology can be a neutral thing for which we then apply the labels of good or bad depending on our choices of how we use it. Personal choices and the responsibilities they come with present themselves every day. Thanks for your caution that the once good can also become bad.

      Comment by dlneidert — May 29, 2010 @ 7:24 pm | Reply

  2. Thank you for a very purposeful blog entry. I sometimes find it difficult to teach/mentor technology-centric majors who must make choices daily between critical thinking and typing more and more into the computer. Critical thinking requires both contemplation and discernment; critical thinking skills transcend the technology used and appropriately question the use of technologies. Your insights are certainly as applicable to the fields of Computer Science, Information Systems and Information Technology- where too often technologies themselves are an escapism rather than one aspect of a toolkit.

    Comment by Sam Blanchard — May 27, 2010 @ 10:31 am | Reply

    • Thanks for the comment. I appreciate the additional areas of application and your note that technology is only one aspect of a toolkit. Critical thinking is an essential tool we often don’t teach or acknowledge.

      Comment by dlneidert — May 29, 2010 @ 7:18 pm | Reply

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