In 1946 the Colossus was built. While it is debated as to whether or not is it the first digital computer, there is no debate as to its size. It weighed 27 tons and took up 680 sq. ft. which would be half the size of the average persons house by modern standards. It was huge, required a lot of people to run, could do very little and there was only one of them. Today, just about anyone can possess a computer. Some, like a smart phone, can fit in the palm of your hand. They are relatively inexpensive, take up very little room and are exponentially more powerful and faster than the first computers.
To say that we have come a long way in the development of the computer is an understatement. The more computer technology changes the faster it can change. While so many people try desperately to keep up with the changes, thus having to have the newest technological gadget, what goes virtually unnoticed is the constant effect our consumption of technology has on us, its users. Akin to the Industrial Revolution and it changes upon modern society at the time “the major impact of our current technological revolution come not so much from new technology or the latest gadgets but are found in the way people interact and live.” (p. 18) This is the observation David Clark makes in his book You, Your Family and the Internet: What Every Christian in the digital age ought to know.
David Clark is uniquely suited to write this book as he is a Christian who has been working with technology for over 30 years on things like Artificial Intelligence for the government in both the UK and US. He both knows his technology and knows Scripture and presents a clear and informative picture of the changes within technology and how to think about them as Christians.
Throughout the twelve short chapters, Clark covers technological issues like social media, pornography, communication, internet gaming and the news. Each chapter is filled with examples of how the technology under discussion began and has changed – for both the good and bad. Along with examples Clark provides a slew of statistical data regarding the growth and use of technology. Sometimes the numbers are staggering and hard to comprehend. For example, spam accounts for 90% of all email traffic which is why it is so important to have filters and other protective programs one you computer (p. 36). Following this information Clark closes each chapter with solid Biblical advice on how Christians should evaluate a given technology and their use of it. Along with this advice are discussion questions surrounding Scripture to help the reader continue to think about the text as it can be applied to technology.
Clark is not against technology but he is against the mindless and blind use of technology that so many Christians exhibit today. As with many other things, many technologies are good but give it time in the hands of sinful people and it can wreck havoc on a person. The final two chapters of the book offer helpful lessons to learn from as a result of evaluating the use of technology as well as useful guides to help for further use with technology.
In You, Your Family and the Internet, David Clark helps us navigate the vast and constantly changing world of technology with clarity, excellence, knowledge of the field and an ability to help us see it all through the lens of Scripture. This is a book every Christian can benefit from and would make a great book for families to read together as they use their new technology they probably received for Christmas.