Technology: Too much of a good thing?

At DP we don’t have an IT department. So when the Launch Team’s private site won’t load a welcome video, the church phone (aka my cell phone) suddenly slips into a coma, the church web site goes on vacation, the wifi signal at our intergalactic headquarters goes bizarro missing, and a computer monitor is flickering alien signals all in the same day, I wonder if we need to just buy a billboard, lick some stamps, and pick up some post-it notes at Staples. Today I found out what happens when the wireless, synced, facebooked, web-optimized, world that you blindly assume to be fool-proof crashes. If we had a hammer in the office I would have crushed every .comy thing in sight around 4:00.  

These things that we assume are gadgets belonging to some alt-reality in which failure is not possible, are nothing more than tools, and tools break. An experienced craftsman that has fashioned a chest, plumbed a bathroom, or framed a door isn’t surprised when the tools of his trade fail. Just as the chest is only as strong as the integrity and precision of each tongue and groove joint made by human hands, so also are each of the tools used in constructing the chest dependent on some error prone human in a Chinese factory, even if the worker bee is just pushing buttons on some other seemingly omniscient machine. It is impossible to eliminate the human condition from invention.


But the magic of technology convinces us otherwise. The tools we use to do our work, communicate with our friends, and develop our churches are amazing but they are not perfect. They will fail us on occasion and sometimes they will all fail us at the same time. We should not be surprised and reach for hammers.  Because they were made by humans, they will always be incomplete iterations. So the next time your wifi signal abandons you at the worst possible time, show it some grace, and give yourself some also. It’s probably not the first time someone has let you down.