Parents are outraged by the school system for banning cellphones. I also saw a report on the Today show where they are going nuts because the parents want to be in touch with the kids at all times (because of 9/11) and the kids want to text message their friends, but schools don’t want kids to have cell phones because it can be a distraction. This morning they were saying that kids are getting so good at texting they don’t need to look at the phone to do it. They can text message through their clothes or even while their hands are in their pockets!!! I don’t know if they are worried more about the distraction that it causes or about how kids can “cheat” by texting answers to one another.
I think text messaging is here to stay and cell phones are becoming more and more prevalent with kids. It is hard to imagine a 6 or 7 year old taking a cell phone to first grade but I am sure we will get to that point. I have seen kids as young as 4th grade with cell phones and they all think that they “need” it. Of course I want and “need” the latest and greatest cell phone. My treo is broken and I don’t know what to do. I feel lost without having my schedule right there with me. I transferred everything to ical on my Mac but I can’t carry that around with me all the time. I think I will have it more and more often once school starts but those times when I need to schedule something quick I will want my palm. I think I am going to hold out on getting a new smart phone until I save enough money for an iphone. That’s the next unit I want to get. So I hope that I can get a $30 phone with no bells and whistles and I will use paper scheduling or find a really cheap palm until the beauteous iphone will be mine.
I have not seen this but I would not be surprised if there are a number of people text messaging in church. If the sermon goes too long and they lose interest they could zone out and instead of counting the ceiling tiles like I use to do, they can talk with their friends. But who knows they could be having a theological discussion “omg this srmen iz kol, petr iz te man, baptiz iz gud” I don’t know if that is right in textize but I wrote – “oh my goodness (because using God there in a text in church would not be good) this sermon is so cool, peter is the man, baptism is good” I doubt that’s what their conversation would consist of but who knows.
Using cell phone in your ministry might not be too far off. We could text people if church is cancelled on a snowy Sunday morning, or remind our council members that there is a meeting that night. Or we could do like the Pope and send a daily text message to the people of the church.
I know embarrassing technology is something we are all going to have to come to terms with. It is here and it is not going anywhere. We cannot expect the church to do the same thing as it has done for the last fifty years and expect to grow. Accessing your schedule, phone, Bible, mp3’s movies, sermon notes, address book, directions, reminders, to do list all on one device is not such a bad thing and for people like me it helps keep me organized. I think that is one of my biggest frustrations with having my treo go bad. I, for the first time in my life was semi-organized. I did not miss an appointment all year during internship and if I was late for something it was because I did not look at my device not because I did not have it in there.
So how do we take advantage about this ever changing technology? Are we ready to do it?