Have you seen the video sweeping social media called “Look Up”? It's, ironically, about how social media has consumed our lives for the worse. But what about all the good online technologies can do?

“There were farmers, land owners and property owners who refused to allow this nuisance to pass over their land or buildings or who simply pulled down lines and destroyed them. Theft and sabotage were common as the network expanded. And in the churches, the preachers likened it to an instrument of the devil.”

The year was 1877 and the technology that provoked such fear was the telephone.

Ericsson, a leader in communications technology, documents the emotions during the release of the telephone in an article that proves we have an instinct to be fearful and demonize new technology.  

Have you seen the video sweeping social media called “Look Up”? It’s gone VIRAL with over 20 million views on YouTube.  It is, ironically, about how social media has consumed our lives for the worse. When I saw this video for the first time, I immediately thought of the Ericsson comment.

There’s a familiar question in Superhero world (#nerdalert) that asks, “will you use your powers for good or evil?” I feel like in many ways, this is where we are with technology. We’re on the cusp of having to choose to use this online world for good or for evil.  It’s up to us.

There's always going to be new technology. It's what we do with it that matters. Instead of complaining about all the bad things technology does, why don't we start using it in a positive and uplifting way? Why don't we use social media to encourage people? Why don't we attempt to make it so that people don't feel lonely online? This technology, just like its predecessors, is not a fad and it’s not going away. So let’s take the challenge! Let’s seize this opportunity to fill the internet and social media with encouragement!

It's curious to me that the author of this video dreams about, “the time you don’t have to tell hundreds of what you’ve just done, because you want to share this moment with just this one.” Yet, thanks to technology he was able to share his moment with over 20 million people. He could’ve had an idea and just shared it with one person, but he didn’t. Instead he made a video about it using technology, posted it on the Internet, and then shared it via social media, after which it went viral. The same technology he said would keep us from forming real connections and having real relationships with people was just used to share HIS opinion. It's powerful! So let's use it for good! Let's embrace it and be present there. 

We talk a lot around Fishhook about when Jesus gave Peter the keys to the Kingdom. When he did that he was giving Peter a new way to bring people to Christ. A new way to share His message. Peter could've said, “no thanks, I'll just do it the same way I always did,” but instead he used those new keys to connect with people and to share the love of Christ with them. Right now we have new keys, new technology, at our disposal. The same technology that is being accused of prohibiting real relationship CAN be used to encourage, to love and to reach people for Christ in a positive way. One of the ways we’re trying to help churches do this is through Inbound Outreach.

Life is about balance. And while I agree it is always necessary to make eye contact and build relationships offline, I also think this paints only the negative picture of what technology has given us. Look at all the beautiful opinions, ideas, words and stories we would miss if it wasn't for technology. So let's see the glass as half full! I'm thankful for the opportunities technology has given me. For the chance to connect. For the chance to see videos like this one.

Let's make the most of the relationships we form face to face and screen to screen.