I like technology. I love keeping up with all things tech. I use Android, but I like to keep up with Apple and Microsoft news as well. I think the innovations that companies make are absolutely amazing, and I enjoy watching press conferences. I think it is pretty cool that we live in a world where that even the general public can view press conferences live through YouTube.
However, there is a problem. My interest in technology can very easily become an idol. As the next big thing releases, sometimes something stirs inside of me. It is the desire for the next big thing (as Samsung likes to call it), whether it be the next tablet, computer, phone, or even smart watch (FYI – I am not a fan of Apple’s grossly expensive Apple Watch, but that is not what this post is about). These things are cool to read, watch, and listen to news about. However, when money plops down on the table, the shinyness only lasts until the next thing is announced.
The tendency to spend on things that we don’t need is not a unique problem. It is pretty rampant in Western culture. We live in a culture of excess. Why? What compels us to look for the next thing?
We are all trying to fill a hole in our lives. An addiction to consumerism could be spurred on by something much deeper. Why did I buy a smart watch? Was it because it adds utility to my life, or was it because I wanted people to give me attention? To be honest, some people might get stuff to garner attention from others. Other people might just be straight up addicted to new stuff. Both of these things are a form of idolatry.
So where does God fit in? Is it okay to be interested in technology, movies, or sports? Of course! However, things get crazy when interests become obsessions. When interests become obsessions, that is when we find that what we once just did out of enjoyment has become a god in our lives. When the new stuff controls our spending habits and sends us into a whirlwind of debt, then we have to ask ourselves if we have become a slave to our own interests.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn. However, when we can start to recognize when our affections are drawing away from what really matters (God, family, friends, etc), then we can redirect our affections. It may seem forced at first, but when we put in the effort to redirect our affections away from the trivial to the eternal, then we will see lasting joy begin to bloom in our lives.