I was honored to be a speaker at the India Christian Media Associates Conference in Hyderabad, India recently along with some top global media leaders. We were there to connect and share on how to use media, technology, and digital platforms to reach audiences more effectively and learn about upcoming trends. The Indian culture is consumed, as is the rest of the world, with future technology and being ready to use it to connect with audiences and clients. It was interesting to also read in the Indian Times Nation daily newspaper while I was there about some interesting new technologies that are being developed globally.
Here are two interesting things I read and heard about while I was in India.
The average adult in the world today checks their smartphone about 150 times daily and teens will check their phones about 85 times daily. So, because of this, rehab facilities are growing in numbers globally to help media users recover from digital additions. There is a group of researchers at the University of Indonesia who have spent the last three months developing a program to help people detox from their smartphone use. It’s a wearable device called Nettox. They tracked user’s hemoglobin oxygen levels and heart rate variability (HRV) and found that when users were transfixed on their devices their blood oxygen levels fell which could potentially cause harmful health issues. Nettox emits a sound that warns users when their HRV levels fall into dangerous levels. They are focusing on developing this new technology because adults, as well as parents with teens and children, are demanding help as they see this as an ongoing health issue.
Not surprisingly, we detest dropping our devices on the ground shattering our screens and hate watching them sink into a toilet. For the last couple of years, I have spoken about the fast track development of bio-tech. We’ve had the technology for years of putting chips in dogs and cats to find them when they run away, get lost or are stolen. Now for the first time, they are being put in humans. Guinea pig companies are inserting chips into their employees and they are lining up to have these micro-chips inserted into their wrists so they can open security doors, get their candy bar from a vending machine, or activate their timecard so the boss knows when they arrive and leave. There was even a recent news report about a U.S. man who had a tattoo artist insert a chip into his hand so he could unlock his Tesla and smartphone and turn the lights on in his house.
Several companies are working on brainpower technology. Facebook and Elon Musk’s company, Neralink, are spending huge amounts of money on connecting your brain and thought directly into your computer with a device similar to a USB plug. As you can imagine, this type of tech would open a new can of worms as bosses might read your mind at work or could give access to government leaders and terrorists who could then access brains for information or even re-program someone’s thinking.
We truly are living in interesting times with advances in media and biotechnologies. We are consumed with it and it may soon consume us. Keeping up with our changing world can be truly scary. As I ponder these developments, I am reminded that God guides us through these speed of light advances when we stay engaged with Him. In Malachi, 3:6, God tells the Jews, “I the Lord do not change. So, you, the descendants of Jacob, (and that means us today) are not destroyed.” The Jews had been whining and complaining that God hadn’t been helping or defending them during their uncertain and chaotic battles. But God let them know He was paying attention. He did indeed see their challenges and that they should be glad of His mercy. He could have obliterated them all in disgust and anger, but He chose instead to let them suffer in what they had brought onto themselves because of their choices. As we contemplate the suffering that technology may bring us, let us also be assured that God is with us directing our paths if we are paying attention and choosing to stay the course with Him.
We have choices today. As we struggle to keep up, shake our heads, and wring our hands in frustration about the fear of what is happening in our ever-changing world, let’s remember that God’s not asleep. He does see it all. Let us raise our hands in thanks to God for His long-suffering, mercy and grace. He lets us stay informed, prepared, and ready for what’s coming next and just asks us to trust Him.