Digital, Mobile, Virtual and Personal

I’m reading Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century this week. As a number one best seller on the New York Times’ Best Seller List, it is a great read for anyone interested in the pace of change in our world.

One particular section of the book that caught my attention today pertains to the “wireless steroids” most of us are hooked on. Friedman writes these “steroids” are flattening (interconnecting) our world. He calls these digital, mobile, virtual and personal items “steroids” because “they are amplifying and turbocharging all the other flatteners” (i.e. open sourcing, outsourcing, insourcing, offshoring, etc.).

We have gone DIGITAL—which means everything from photographs to music to entertainment to communications are being digitized and therefore can be shaped, manipulated, and transmitted over computers, the Internet, satellites, or fiber-optic cable.

We have gone VIRTUAL—which means that the process of shaping, manipulating and transmitting these digitized content can be done at very high speeds, with total ease, that you never have to think about it.

We have gone MOBILE—which means that thanks to wireless technology, all this can be done from anywhere, with anyone, through any device, and can be taken anywhere.

We have gone PERSONAL, which means that it can be done by you, just for you, on your own device.

I have experienced the “digital, virtual, mobile, personal” world we live in firsthand while on vacation.

For example, I am typing this article on the back porch of our vacation place. As soon as I complete it, I will email the article to Vaughn Harris, my trusted blog support tech, via the high speed Internet connection provided where we are staying.

As another example, my daughter receives an instant message about every other minute while away on vacation to report the happenings back home.

My son receiving a photo on his phone from a friend just a few miles away from us, letting him in on all that is going on “just down the beach” serves as another example.

While reading this book, I continue to wrestle with this one question: “How will the church respond to the change that surrounds us?”


3 Responses to “Digital, Mobile, Virtual and Personal”

  1. 1 MrsC
    July 6, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    I have not read the whole book, but I have read excerpts and have been applying it to the education world. Too many educators seek to keep things the same while the audience we teach uses their “digital appendages” to reach out for information. Just like the school, I believe the church cannot work in a vacuum and assume that only the ministers on staff are the containers of knowledge. We must be willing to reach out in all digital, virtual, personal, and mobile venues to reach and keep an audience. I am proud to say that we are on our way to doing that as I type into your blog and as I just listened to two of your sermons via podcast through an MP3 player hooked into my car stereo. Fortunately, our savior is already digital, virtual, personal, and mobile.

  2. 2 Karen Hutchins
    July 6, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    Hello Pastor:

    I am glad you are Digital, Mobile, Virtual and Personal so that you are able to stay in touch with us. However, you are supposed to be resting and renewing your soul!

    Now that I have found the “Blog” I am really enjoying “Ryan’s World.” It gives me more of an insight into your mind as a person, not just a pastor.

    Continue to enjoy the remainder of your special time with your family, but more importantly, our Heavenly Father.

    Praying for you,
    Karen Hutchins

  3. 3 mandi
    July 8, 2006 at 6:58 am

    Hey Preachy,

    I have read and participated in some great World Is Flat discussion panels. Our superintendent has a fabulous ppt she created and has shared all over the state. I’ll send it to you.
    The book was a little redundant to me. I felt after I read the first half that a lot of the rest was repeat information.
    Anyway, it makes you take a close look and shudder at what our kids will need to learn to be ready and qualified for the real world.

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