What did you call me? (by randymorgan)

This morning, my friend david called me a “neo-Luddite.“ so i immediately went to the office and looked it up.
The Luddites were bands of workers in England who were organized by ned ludd in the early 19th century to destroy textile manufacturing machinery. the luddites were convinced that the use of the new “high tech” machinery threatened their jobs.
neo-luddism is a term that (according to wikipedia) is often deployed by advocates of technology to describe persons or organizations that resist technological advances. of course, i am not a neo-luddite, but it seems to me that there are several good reasons to be one, among them are the loss of privacy–the big brother factor–and the frenetic pace of life. but my biggest problem with the encroachment of technology (as i’ve previously written here and here) is the tragic and inevitable erosion of community.
some time back, i read (and i can’t for the life of me remember where) a poignant and graphic account of the malady i am describing.
as the american west opened up to settlers, families would move onto a section of land, stake their claim, register their claim with the county, and begin scratching a living out of the dirt. they would pick out a prime spot in the center of their land and build a dwelling (and we cherish a similarly romantic, modern-day notion: “i’ve got no neighbors within eyesight”). it didn’t take long, however, for the isolation of this type of existence to become maddening–we’ve all seen the images of lonely pioneer families with haunted, almost crazed looks in their eyes. also, it didn’t take long for settlers to learn the lesson of their predecessors, and they began building their homes closer to the corner of their property, within proximity of their neighbors, so they could enjoy the benfits of community (fellowship, sharing of duties, assistance in crisis, etc).
is it possible that the trend toward social networking is taking us back to that place of desolation and neurosis?
for the most part, technology is a wonderful thing. i contend, however, that in many cases the cost is simply too great. my young friends argue that theirs is a community, just a different one than i am used to. granted, but the anonymity afforded in virtual relationships will simply not allow us to attain the level of honesty and accountability necessary for spiritual growth. from time-to-time, i need the warmth of a handclasp, the release of shared laughter, and the tension of someone looking me in the eye and asking about my prayer life.
and sometimes it requries more than 140 characters.
so call me a neo-luddite if you like, just so long as i can still qualify to be called “disciple.”

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About DigitalPlato

Poch is a Bookrix author and a freelance writer. He is a frequent contributor to TED Conversations.
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One Response to What did you call me? (by randymorgan)

  1. pochp says:

    I like the way you wrote this without dogmatism or pride Randy so I decided to publish it. Bravo.

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