7 Reasons I am Thankful for Media, Technology (and even smartphones)

technology

So last week I shared…
About why I returned my iPhone.

But I felt that a follow-up-post was needed.
Because there are many reasons I’m thankful for media and technology…
(and even smartphones.)

So here are 7 reasons I like technology, from someone-who-doesn’t-really-like-technology-all-that-much…

1. Because it helps me connect with people I love.

Just a few days ago, I received a Facebook friend request from one of my students.
I haven’t taught high school I.B. English for years (can you tell?) but I’ve wondered about this particular student and it was so fun to receive her message.

And our three year old knows how to Skype with her grandparents. Their faces are familiar to her, even when the distance is too far for weekly interaction.

Last year, I knew almost right away when my close friend from high school lost her dad and my heart ached with her.

One of my closest friends is moving to Hawaii next week. Our family is grieving the change in a friendship grown over the last decade. Our blogs and Facebook and texting and cell phones will be the strands that keep us tied closely.

And I can actually listen to my cousin’s little boy singing Johnny Cash on youtube.

Plus, it no longer takes six weeks to get a message to my friend who is a missionary in Niger.

And if my husband has to work late, he can often bring his work home, have dinner with us, read to our children, and finish up after they are in bed.

 

2. Because it is helpful.

My dad is a family doctor and we’ve emailed him images of strange-bug-bites-on-children to see if a trip to the ER is necessary.

And I don’t know how people ever created tri-fold-5th-grade-display-boards about Indonesia before the internet.

When I can’t remember a Bible verse, or quote, or book, or song, or movie or figure out how to get ink out of carpet… I can look it up.

And I’ll admit that I just like Siri.
I do.
She makes me laugh with all her witty answers to questions that we think will trip her up.
And last week she helped a friend and I not-get-as-lost in Colorado.

And on Friday I wanted a recipe for homemade crockpot chicken soup–
And it was wonderful.

Indonesia

3. Because God has used it all to grow real friendships.

And I’m not talking about the fifteen-bazillion-face-book-friends kind.

These are real, deep friendships where lives have intertwined and I pray for them and they pray for me and we’ve had coffee together because He’s allowed us some shoulder-to-shoulder time.
Where I know we may be separated by miles, but we’ll have eternity together–

Sweet kindreds like Ruth and Kelly and Rachel and Joy and Sarah and Mandy and Christy and Jennifer and and a rare handful of others I write with at The Better Mom and Mosaics.
Women who are more than just “online acquaintances”.

And because those daily texts from close friends here…
Remind me that someone loves me enough to ask if I-still-need-toothpaste-from-Costco because they want to save me a trip.

Better Mom Team2

4. Because it gives me access to resources that have helped me grow spiritually.

Like last month when I was home from church with a sick kiddo and we could pile onto pillows and listen to our pastor’s sermon in real time.

Or the dozens of podcasts from Matt Chandler and John Piper and Tim Keller that have impacted us greatly.

Or the posts from Ann that pull my heart toward a life of giving-thanks.

 

5. Because it is a great way for sharing needs and joys and prayer requests.

Like when my friend Elizabeth shares on Facebook that a new family has moved to town and they need a crib for their baby.

And when the email comes through that my nephew’s new baby is in the NICU, struggling to breathe.

Or when I get a text from a friend’s that says her daughter is giving a talk to high school students about how a baby-is-a-baby-even-in-the-womb, at this very moment, and I can stop and pray.

Or when Naghmeh Abedini can go on Facebook  to ask for help and prayer because her American husband who is a pastor was sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran yesterday.

abedini

6. Because it is possible to use my reach (my social-platform-blog-twitter-facebook-linkedin-texta-stublming-insta-EVERYTHING) for His glory.

Like when a couple is considering adoption and they want to know about our stories.

Or when I meet a woman at our daughter’s preschool and her friend’s child has just died and she wants to know ways to weep-with-those-who-weep.

Or when a mama needs ideas for talking to her child about Heaven.

Or when a friend discovers that her son may be dyslexic.

There’s an opportunity for sharing (and pointing hearts to Him) that might not exist otherwise.

 

7. Because media, technology, (and even smartphones) keep us in the tension.

It might be easier to just do away with it all, but instead we have to listen for God’s whisper that we may be out-of-balance or over-balanced or missing–
Balance.
Where it might be simpler if He just gave us Commandment #11–
Do not use Facebook.

But–instead He gives us a relationship where we must come to Him regularly, willing to lay it all,
All the techno-everything-options at His disposal.
Maybe to be used by Him.
Maybe to literally be–
Disposed of.

My husband has been looking for a new-used-car for work.
Our current cars are, well…
Pretty old.
And mine is full of muddy footprints, smashed cranberries, forgotten dioramas, and swim goggles.

We took a test drive yesterday.
Where have the days gone of a simple wheel, pedal, key, switch for the lights and a blinker?
Instead there are sensors to warm my seat, a welcome greeting, bluetooth streaming, and I’m pretty sure I was actually in the cockpit of an airplane, ready for flight.

The salesman synced my husband’s smartphone and then–
Made a few wisecracks about my ancient relic of a phone.
I told him why I returned my iPhone.
And I’m still happy about that decision–
For now at least.

But–I wanted to take a moment to be thankful for the good ways that God uses media, technology…
And yes–

Even iPhones.

mysoul

God can use social media for His glory, as we place our influence back in His hands and commit to entering the world of social media as a tool for sharing about God’s rescue story in our own lives.
I want to share His work in my life…

“The good, the bad, the hard (as) something the Lord allowed for the purpose of showing His heart and character.
It’s all for His glory…
We also need to clearly understand our mission, given by the God of the universe, before we use the tools of social media.” ~ Reach pg. 15

Because–
While there are many aspects of (social)media & technology that concern me greatly,

Our God is a God who Redeems.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” ~Psalm 24:1

 

 

 

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  • http://www.homegrownlearners.com Mary

    Hi Kara! I loved this post — I’m preparing to give a talk to our local homeschool group about showing your faith through technology and I am going to use a couple of your points (if you don’t mind!)…. I especially love your #7. Thanks for a great post!

    • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

      Thank you Mary…
      Feel free to share whatever would be helpful in your talk :)
      Love,
      K

  • http://www.elisapulliam.com/ Elisa Pulliam

    Great post the reveals the good in the midst of what we know is often bad!

    • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

      Thank you Elisa…
      I’m so thankful for those online friendships like I have with you and Daniele and the rest of the BTM team…that feel like accountability. Where the struggle is understood and I can ask you all to pray when i need help knowing if the balance is there or not.

  • http://hissongtomeshalom.blogspot.com/ Mandy

    #awtearedupatnumberthreeandlikewise #numbersevenamen! Oh, girl. So very good. xoxoxo

    • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

      #nowifonlywecouldfigureouthashtags :)
      #wishIcouldredoallumeandspendmoretimewithyou

  • prayernotesbycynthia

    Enjoyed this post! I think technology is great, too. But, like you, I put it in its place. I have a new iphone, but I treat it just like the blackberry I had…It stays on when I’m out, just in case my children or husband have to contact me. It was a present, so I accepted it, but I refuse to be attached to it. Blessings to you!

    • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

      I love this because you’re so intentional…using it as a tool and resource but not allowing it to become an attachment. This encourages me!

  • LeAnn Williams

    Kara, this was a lovely post. I agree that technology is wonderful and can be used for good and for connecting with those you love. It is also spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course, we must have our priorities in order so that it doesn’t take over our lives. Also, Satan knows how to use it too.
    Blessings on this one!

    • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

      So. so. true LeAnn…

      Thank you dear friend for the wisdom and encouragement.
      I love thinking about all the ways that God uses technology to share the gospel…THAT part makes me so encouraged!

  • http://cultivatedlives.blogspot.com/ Heather H

    Amen. There are so many benefits that it is worth moving out in them as long as it is kept in check. Oh the beauty of balance! :)

    • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

      And the battle of keeping it (the balance) :)
      But I really do think that even that is a good thing…taking time to step back and really evaluate if it’s all still in balance.
      I want to set a good example for our kiddos too because this is going to to be the world they live in…
      Last night at dinner, my husband and I were telling them about our high school years…when no one I knew had a cell phone even, let alone a personal computer.
      They couldn’t EVEN IMAGINE :)

      • http://cultivatedlives.blogspot.com/ Heather H

        What you say is so true. We only have a few years with them and we must train them by example {eeek, sobering} how to live a balanced life in a world desperate to pull us off kilter and having that icky sin-nature that is drawn to it…
        It is a very different world they are growing up in.

  • Mary

    Found you through GraceLaced! Great insights! Thank you for sharing:-)

    • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

      Thanks for stopping by Mary :)
      Ruth (at Gracelaced) is one of my dearest online gifts from Him…

  • http://twitter.com/happywivesclub Happy Wives Club™

    I am so grateful for media and technology because it’s allowed me to do what I love without ever needing to leave my home or family. I’m able to manage projects going on around the world via conference calls and screen sharing. I absolutely love it. Although I have no problem turning off my smart phone…regularly.

    • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

      I know…
      I think about that a lot. The way it allows us to connect while still being home and still connect and reach out and care for one another.
      I love how your tweet said you’d been “delivered” from the smartphone attachment…

  • Lisa Jacobson

    For a long time, our family held out from most of this, but after carefully considering it, decided we’d venture out. And for the most part? It’s turned out to be a positive addition to our lives – much to our great surprise. Like you’ve listed, we’ve enjoyed increased connection with our many friends overseas and have made some really wonderful friends.
    It does have the potential to suck you in, however,….so that’s always a concern and bears monitoring. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspective! Helps for our ongoing discussion of these things.

  • Julie Anne Staub

    So well said Kara! It’s easy to see only negatives, but I’m grateful for all the ways technology has blessed our lives as well.

  • edj

    It is a balance. We recently got smart phones and I’m a huge fan. It helps when we are driving to new homes every Wed night to speak, and no one is out that we could ask for directions. It helps when I’m teaching English and can’t explain a word, so I look it up in an online bilingual dictionary, or when I want to show my students a map. But I have been known to waste far too much of my time reading blogs ;) (not yours of course…)

  • http://twitter.com/marykprather Homegrown Learners

    Thanks for this! I’m working on a talk about showing Jesus through social media and your post is greatly helping me! :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/margaret.heaton.9 Margaret Heaton

    Thank you for the post. I, too, struggle with how much technology is good for the soul. Nothing will ever replace human touch, but to keep up with family, friends and stay in touch with world, we need to use the instruments God has allowed us to have. To use technology for HIS glory is the wisest use of all.