Connectivity is not a sin

When the question of inappropriate use of technology arises, one must consider whether this question already falls under currently established policy. For example, a teacher in a classroom may wish to limit students’ access to wireless internet in order to prevent inattention. The problem here is the use of the connection rather than the existence. When used appropriately, an internet connection can and will enhance a classroom learning experience. However, it can be — indeed, often is — used inappropriately. But the same argument can be applied to more traditional reading material. Nobody would suggest that a textbook should be banned from a classroom. Nor is anyone opposed to most other hard-copy publications. But like the internet, these have the possibility of abuse.

Use of cell phones during church seems unnecessary, and indeed may be. I have, however, used my phone to send important text messages, which distracted from the meeting far less than standing up and making my way to an aisle so that I could leave the chapel to make a phone call. In Sunday school I have used a Pocket PC to find appropriate quotes online to share with the class and enhance classroom discussion. Both of these uses might be seen as inappropriate by some, but in their context were beneficial to myself and others.

The solution to abuse does not lie in shunning technology and advancement. Rather than a wholesale dismissal of internet connectivity, viable use should be explored. Students and teachers should understand acceptable use, and should seek to use technology to enhance rather than distract.