New Tech and New Touch

In my research, the utilization of technology as a tool to help express spiritual formation practices reflected the “high tech and high touch” dynamic that futurist John Naisbitt identified. I would take it one step further and say that “new tech” require “new touch” ways to stay connected to the world and with others. In my research, the use of technology as a convenience tool to overcome life’s constraints initially appeared to be pragmatic in nature but ultimately reflected the changing practices of citizens of the global information culture. This graphic from the Pew Research Center shows the dramatic increase in technology adoption since 2000.

The spiritual formation challenge is to understand how these “new tech” and “new touch” dynamics affect the current spiritual rhythms and practices of church-going technology end-users in high-tech cultural contexts such as Silicon Valley. The spiritual design thinking model emerged as one attempt to create a new spiritual formation model that was both process-oriented but also culturally and technologically sensitive to the cultural challenges of hearing God’s voice in the midst of a multitude of other “voices” that call out to us through a series of notifications, tweets, and pings.

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