I am one of the few staff workers in SYFC who do not own a laptop and often forget my username and password! I am thankful that for the three times I needed to change my desktop computer, I have a tech-savvy nephew to help and when he was overseas, a kind ex-volunteer educated me, bought and set up everything for me so that I can use it for work, listen to music and Skype.
Switching to use of WhatsApp on the phone came about only when I was paying too high a bill because of many text messages! That friend who convinced me to change had to go with me to upgrade my phone plan. A few years ago, I was forced to learn to use skype to communicate with a volunteer overseas to update the school ministry situation here. To date, I still make international calls periodically and I enjoy it this way!
I dislike the use of Google Docs in ministry communications initially but now I have a much better grasp of the use of it with so many files being shared with me. In February 2020, I “attended” two prayer meetings via Google hangouts, a meeting via skype and handled a video call for three arranged by my new student.
Many young people rather use WhatsApp to text than to hold phone conversation or even meet. It is known that the present-day communications technology has brought individuals and communities together. But that may not mean that we are closer to meaningful human conversations. Living in an age of sophisticated technology and where everything we touch and feel seems smooth and seamless, human contact seems rarer. Is there an avoidance of human contact where human interaction seems burdensome? We need to think about it.
Being geared to the times means different things to different people. I am one who is hesitant to adopt more tech savvy approach to get work done. While the use of technology pave ways for many ways to get things done more efficiently or creatively, it should not cause us to lose our attention for sensitive information, good conversations, personal touch and patience in our work with the youths whom we build real and not virtual relationships.
Ronica Chua has been serving with SYFC for many years. It’s amazing the number of people she knows! Perhaps you are one of them?