Technology taking over

Friday, October 12, 2012
Russ Jones (

A former dean and trained clinical psychologist is concerned about the potential harm of digital technology.

Hart, Dr. ArchibaldDr. Archibald Hart, senior professor of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary's School of Psychology, maintains that digital addictions have created a spiritual deficit. With one in every nine people on the planet now on Facebook or some other form of social media like Twitter and YouTube, Dr. Hart calls it the "digital invasion."

Either with a computer, smartphone or iPad, humans spend roughly 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. With those kinds of numbers, Hart is on a mission to help awaken people to their relationship with technology and to help them reclaim what technology has stolen by engaging them in real-life connections.

"It is making such an inroad to our lives that it is robbing us of the time that we need for spiritual discipline … to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). But we can't be still anymore," he laments. "People are not spending time in prayer as they used to because they are distracted all the time."

Hart emphasizes that technology is not the problem.

"It's our misuse of it that is the problem, and the misuse of it being reprogrammed for speed and not for content," he offers. "But more than that, this wonderful technology that comes from the fantastic brain that God has given us is now actively coming between us and God -- and that is a very, very serious issue for me."

Dr. Hart has a few suggestions for limiting digital use:

  • Do not check smartphone until after morning devotions.
  • End digital day at 9:00 p.m.
  • Do not check smartphone when having lunch or dinner with a friend, or leave phone in car.
  • Take a digital fast every Sunday.
  • No digital gadgets at meal times.
  • Limit checking e-mails or texts to once an hour.
  • Try not to talk on phone to virtual people when real people are in front of you.
  • Pray daily for God to help you become a good steward of your virtual life.

The psychology professor is scheduled to release a new book on the subject next summer. It is titled The Digital Invasion: How Technology is Shaping You and Your Relationships.

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