“Breaking The Digital Spell” is a podcast that explores the way technology and media shape our thoughts about God and our neighbor. In Season One, we explore how changes in technology and media – from the printing press, to television, to the Internet, and beyond – have changed the way we think and talk about God, and what future changes might be on the horizon. You can listen online and access episode manuscripts and bonus material, or subscribe at any of the links below!
(Note: Breaking The Digital Spell is currently on hiatus while I am attending seminary. I will continue to write on theology and technology, but this content will be standalone content outside of the podcast.)
Download individual episodes or read episode manuscripts below!
Our love for the technology and media in our lives has left us held under a spell that leads us to believe there is nothing worth seeing or experiencing beyond the screen in front of our face. On the season finale of Breaking the Digital Spell, we look at what it means to live our lives with the digital spell broken.
We live in a world defined by the Internet and the technology and media it has created. How does this change the way we think about God and the way we love our neighbor? “In Conclusions, Part Two”, we come full circle as the season begins to come to a close.
No matter how much we might use television or the Internet to escape the real world, the screen size and location always leaves a little bit of the real world in our peripheral vision. VR takes that peripheral vision away and replaces it will a full digital world that could offer us what our real life can’t.
Smartphones are incredible useful. They’re also incredibly distracting. They can help us manage our lives and distract us from our lives at the same time. How does this change the way we think about God?
S1B2: Surviving Elections On Social Media (Listen)
Earlier this week we looked at social media’s impact on us by offering us a limitless amount of content to consume. That content often gets nasty around election seasons – is there anything we can do to mitigate that nastiness and survive the toxicity of social media during election season? In this BONUS episode of Breaking The Digital Spell, we look at three practical ways to help us get through the ugliness of online politics during election season!
Social media promises the ability to consume an endless amount of content thanks to timelines, algorithms, and a whole host of other technological forces designed to keep us up-to-date, informed, and connected with everything going on in the world. There is more content uploaded each day than our minds can comprehend -just how much of this can we consume each day without experiencing any negative effects?
We’ve spent the past several episodes talking about the social and intellectual environments – the mediums – created by new technology and media. But what about the machines themselves? What role do they have to do with this? What about the digital text we now consume as a result of these machines? Is there a difference between reading digital text and reading printed text? If there is, what impact does that have on us – on society?
How did television and the Internet change the way we think about God? In this episode, we come to some conclusions, and one of these conclusions paves the way for the digitally driven world we live in today.
When the Internet became readily available and adopted in the 90s, we had no idea what changes it would bring to our world. In many ways, we are still trying to fully asses the scope of that change even to this present day as the Internet continues to evolve and change. Even in the early days of the Internet, however, one thing was clear: our idea of “community” would never be the same again.
S1B1: Good Television And Bad Writing (Listen)
In this BONUS episode of Breaking The Digital Spell, we take a look at some of the good things about television and some of the ways where advances in print/oral communication have made the world worse. We’ve been pretty harsh on television up to this point – now its time to give it some credit.
“If the delivery is not the same, then the message, quite likely, is not the same. And if the context in which the message is experienced is altogether different from what it was in Jesus’ time, we may assume that its social and psychological meaning is different as well.” – Neil Postman
How do you read a book? How do you watch television? How we engage a medium tells us what that medium values – and when it comes to television, it values something completely foreign to the world before it: discourse not through words, but through images.
How have changes in technology and media changed the way we think about God? In order to answer this, we must go back to the beginning, and in the beginning…were words.
In thinking about technology and media, its hard to know where to start when considering their effects on our lives. In this episode, we look at three general responses to technology – optimism, pessimism, and ambiguity – and how these responses can help us make sense of the good, bad, and ugly of technology and media.
Breaking the Digital Spell is not about convincing you to throw your MacBooks out the window, pack your things, and move to the middle of nowhere, free from any technological influence whatsoever. Nor is it about instilling a fear of the device you’re currently listening this into, as though there were some big, grand conspiracy to turn you into some mindless lemming. Instead, Breaking the Digital Spell is a podcast about asking questions about the technology and media we take for granted, and honestly assessing the full range of impact they have on our lives and theology.