Contemp Culture, Facebook, Future, Global, Meaning, Ramblings, Technology, the Ridiculous

Technology is a Vampire (or Why Facebook Will Eat Your Soul)

There’s this song where Jack Black is singing about a duel with the devil and the devil approaches him “and his brother Kyle, here” and challenges him to, on the spot, compose and play the greatest and best song in the world or else “I’ll eat your soul.”

And that’s kind of what technology does to us. Not challenging us to musical duels, but eating our souls.


I speak in hyperbole, but only a little. I’ve written before that I am a Luddite and that I Don’t Get Twitter. I’ve recently deleted almost all of the apps on my phone and stopped checking Facebook and Twitter for an indeterminate amount of time.

My goal is not to cut myself off from technology and social media but attempt to retrain the part of my brain that seemingly was hardwired into checking for “updates” more often than necessary. And, you know, ask good questions over meals with the people who exist within the real sphere of my existence (rather than the digital sphere).

I had a fun conversation yesterday with my friend Matt. One thing about Matt is that he loves technology and has a very beautiful and hopeful vision for how technology can play a positive role in our life (and, even more uniquely, in the life of Christian/faith communities).

I really like Matt and I really like the work he does to critically integrate technology, relationships, creativity, and spirituality together.

But I’m not as hopeful as him about our ability to harness technology. I’m a Jayber Crow-loving dystopian who believes that technology harnesses us rather than the other way around.

Facebook sets out to connect us “with friends and the world around us” but doesn’t it actually disconnect us with the actual world around us and give us tools we need to spy and slander and “shallowize” relationships instead of deepen them?

Twitter lets you “find out what’s happening right now” but isn’t its 140-character limit really an invitation to dismissal of others rather than true dialogue?

Instagram is a place to “capture and share the world’s moments” but it’s really about what you ate for breakfast, yeah?

Can we utilize technology for good before it utilizes us?

Does social media provide social capital that we can spend in ways that better, deepen, and enrich the human experience?

Or is technology/social media primarily benefitting the data-mining corporations at the expense of our relational capital?

Is Facebook really eating our souls?



7 thoughts on “Technology is a Vampire (or Why Facebook Will Eat Your Soul)

    • Yes, immediate affirmation….such a powerful force tied deep into ego and pride. Wish I could say I’ve worked through those issues…but a discipleship issue to be working out, for sure.


  1. You may have given up checking your personal facebook and twitter – but I see you checking the work accounts often — so I don’t think you can consider yourself disconnected completely (even if you can say that it is required for work!)

    I want to believe there is a way to utilize technology – but I agree that it is, most often, just more distracting. Even instagram that is my favorite! I find that I sit and ignore the people I am with in an attempt to PERFECTLY capture the moment we are having so I can share it and remember it forever. What did they do before all this technology? They were still fine – they simply enjoyed the people they were with and remembered moments with their MINDS.

    the iPhone is just a phase anyway, right??!?


    • very true – not completely disconnected (I even set up a few Facebook notifications to be sent via email so I don’t miss direct messages and/or pertinent communications)…but slowly working on cutting further and further back into a less social media-dependent existence.

      I suppose there’s more room, too, to differentiate between technology and social media applications of technology.

      And, yes, the iPhone is a phase. Cell phones in general, really. Pretty soon we’ll be back to rotary phones.


    • As long as you are distinguishing between technology and social media, you might want to also note you are having this conversation on a blog that notified you of our replies via email. What I hear you saying is that you want to shift you notifications to something you choose to turn your attention to. I think that’s a good step towards attentional discipline that makes it possible to enjoy the moments and people in your physical presence and reach out beyond them when it’s beneficial.

      But lets not pretend you’re not using technology. You use it whenever you make use of written language. You use it when you flush the toilet. Wendell Berry uses it when he employs the complex technology of publishing to share Jayber Crow with you.

      More at Later. After I finish checking my email.


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