I got to see my baby niece roll over! She’s over
a thousand miles away—I last visited when
she was a newborn. And yet, there she was
on my phone screen, squealing and rolling.
For all that pundits might claim technology to
be evil and isolating, I see it as miraculous. Technology helps connection happen in
ever-expanding ways, bridging distance and
time zones, bringing together people who
might never have met another with their
interest or struggle.
When my children were babies we didn’t know of Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat, and twenty years ago the internet scarcely had pictures! Now, many of us use these tools daily to be in touch with our nearest and dearest, as well as folks we haven’t seen in those twenty years, and folks we’ve yet to meet in person. The digital world is no less real, it’s just less physical.
And sometimes screens and the physical world engage in fruitful ways. Thanks to the generosity of so many Emersonians, and the hard work of our AV improvements task force, our sanctuary is now graced by a large screen, allowing us to project not just hymn lyrics and the occasional pretty picture, but to incorporate video clips and remote guests into our worship services and special events!
In just a few weeks my sisters and I will gather our families around the warm glow of webcams, so we can shout MERRY CHRISTMAS and open presents with each other, the miles so much less limiting. (And yes, we still look forward to the next chance for hugs!)
May your holidays be bright-
Katy Carpman is our Director of Religious Education.