I use a lot of technology. I like my old secondhand smartphone with its apps and I’d like to upgrade. I like my laptop and blogging. I like messing around with design and new browsers, I like Twitter, Google+ and to a much lesser extent facebook. I like sending emails, talking with friends on Skype, sharing music on Spotify. I use Evernote to keep track of my life. I like our new compact digital camera which records the life of our family. I like watching DVDs and listening to music on my iPod shuffle when I go running.
Every day I use what we call ‘technology’ not counting all the other ways and more old-fashioned technologies that I use like microwaves, cars, electricity, books even! When all is said and done, I’m heavily reliant on technology and probably increasingly so.
However a while ago I read a couple of articles from Evernote and the language they used just stopped me in my tracks. They talked about their partners who ‘are helping to bring the Evernote lifestyle to more people’ and then they called their forums the Evernote Lifestyle forums. That was it and it stopped me dead in my tracks. A lifestyle.
I use technology but is it my lifestyle? If it isn’t what is? Just to be clear, your lifestyle is the result of all the things you do to give yourself an identity, make sense of the world and respond to the circumstances of life.
So, I go running and that influences what I eat, when I eat, when I wake, what clothes I buy and so on. What I want is a healthy lifestyle where I am fit, in good shape, healthy and active. That’s why I run. I might want that active lifestyle for a variety of reasons – for me it’s a mix of wisdom, pleasure and vanity.
For others we get our identity and sense of belonging from the technology we use and how we use. It’s most obviously seen in the cultural capital that Apple has. It would be hard to deny that functionality is not the only reason people buy Apple; it’s also likely to be in part the image. If I would like to show myself as a cool, creative type – then chances are there’s an Apple product lying around.
But what does it mean to have a Jesus lifestyle? How much does the person of Jesus shape the way I live, the way I act, the way I speak, the things I do compared to say my running, reading or over-active interest in technology?