The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Extending your reach

McLuhan called media the “extensions of man.” He used the word “media” almost synonymously with “technology.” Technology, he said, extended man’s senses and capabilities. With a radio, a man could project his voice farther. With a home, a man extended beyond his own skin the space he controls and embodies. With writing, a man could outsource his memory or communicate his ideas beyond those he could speak with.

“Outsourcing” is a good way to think of technology too. Technology is a way to outsource man’s senses and capabilities. Over time, we’ve developed newer and better ways to outsource these. Thus, as technology has increased (and at an increasing rate), we’ve outsourced more of these dimensions.

We indeed still have our 5 senses and numerous other dimensions like memory, language, and emotion. However, as technology extends or outsources any one of these dimensions, we begin using those dimensions for different things. When that happens the equilibrium among them is thrown off. Recalibrating these dimesions means changing any number of them to compensate for the imbalance. We are foolish to believe that this recalibration is not a spiritual matter.