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The Digital Invasion: How Technology Is Shaping You and Your Relationships Paperback – July 1, 2013
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From the Back Cover
"Finally, a powerful, well-researched book that helps us grapple with and respond to the digital-tsunami that's swept over us."--Chap Clark, author of Hurt 2.0; senior editor, YouthWorker Journal
The world of digital technology is always changing--and it's changing you.
In the world of technology, there are just two kinds of people: digital natives and digital immigrants. Born after the advent of the Internet, digital natives are comfortable with swift change and take the presence of technology in their lives for granted. Digital immigrants are those born before the Internet. Their comfort level with our technology-soaked world is more variable, but they are affected by the digital invasion just the same.
The Digital Invasion uncovers the ways digital technology is changing us from within, physically, mentally, and especially spiritually. Backed by the latest research, it offers therapeutic and biblical strategies to become good stewards of our digital lives.
"Timely strategies and practical explanations on how to survive digital damage and put technology in its place."--Tim Clinton, president, AACC; executive director, Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University
"Offers a wealth of insights. . . . It challenges us to confront the many myths surrounding digital technology and points us to a healthier way of Internet use."--Josh D. McDowell, author and speaker, The Unshakable Truth
"Groundbreaking, desperately needed, and long overdue."--Gary J. Oliver, executive director, Center for Relationship Enrichment; professor, John Brown University
Dr. Archibald D. Hart is the author of thirty books and is senior professor of psychology and dean emeritus of the school of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is well known for his ministry to churches through psychological training, education, and consultation.
Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd has a master's degree specializing in Christian counseling and an earned doctorate of ministry in leadership specializing in spiritual formation. She is also certified in Internet addiction. She has been working as a digital researcher, writer, speaker, coach, and coach trainer and has developed a resource website: TheDigitalInvasion.com.
About the Author
Dr. Archibald D. Hart is the author of nearly thirty books and is senior professor of psychology and dean emeritus of the school of psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is well known for his ministry to churches through psychological training, ed
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Dr. Hart makes a point of pointing out that digital technology has caused the world to be divided into two groups: Digital Natives – those born after the introduction of digital technology and Digital Immigrants – those born before the introduction of digital technology. He then distinguishes between the two groups by identifying three major categories for each group and asks the reader to identify which group he/she falls in. Any individual who uses any type of technology is able to identify themselves within one of these groups and are given food for thought about their use of technology.
Dr. Hart points out how digital technology has negatively impacted our spiritual lives. He discusses how many young people prefer watching videos or skits instead of listening to sermons, meditating or reflecting on something spiritual. Dr. Hart points out that this can affect young people’s ability to spend time in prayer or reading scripture or listening to a sermon and that this negatively affects their spiritual practices. This does not only apply to young people, but also to many adults. Dr. Hart and Dr. Frejd interviewed clergy members who reported that many of their congregants were being distracted by the texting being done by others in the congregation during the service.
In Chapter 2, the authors discuss the relationship we have with digital technology and how this is negatively affecting our relationships with other people. They pose two important questions to the reader: “Would you say that you are receiving a lot more enjoyment from your digital gadgets than your real-life connections? If so, then why?” Dr. Hart and Dr. Frejd go on to point out that digital technology is not an attachment of our lives, but is taking over our lives and if there is no balance in the use of digital technology, “the risk of developing an addictive bond… is becoming increasingly and unavoidably compulsory…”
The chapter on “Relationships and Social Media,” further validates how digital technology is affecting our relationships with others. The authors discuss the importance of understanding that God created us for “authentic connections and meaningful attachments.” Although technology can keep us connected with those we care about, it does not allow us to be intimately connected with others. The authors provide detailed information on the challenge of social media and how it not only affects digital natives, but digital immigrants as well.
Dr. Hart provides an awesome account of how digital technology affects the brain and how we think and does this in a very simple and understandable way. He provides information on how we are changing our brain; whether the brain is changeable; the vulnerability of the brain; whether the brain has limitations; and what brain systems are being affected by digital technology. Dr. Hart discusses how digital technology can negatively impact these systems and provides solutions to decrease the negative impact.
The last three chapters of “Digital Invasion” provide solutions in learning to balance the use of digital technology and a protection plan for parents to use in developing a balance for their children. The last chapter, “Protecting our Godspace,” provides an explanation of Godspace and learning to fill up our “Godspace” in order to be able to engage with God.
I found this book to be fascinating and it taught me a lot about my use of digital technology. It is not a putdown on digital technology, but a guide to learning how to balance our use of digital technology. I highly recommend this book to anyone who uses the internet, smartphone, tablet or any other digital device!
This book emphasizes on the psychological and spiritual aspect of our digital lives. Beginning with the first chapter, Dr. Archibald made an important point when he mentioned that our world is divided into two groups, the digital immigrants and the digital natives. Digital immigrants are those born before the digital technology and the Digital natives or “ iGeneration” are those born after. He went further to elaborate on the two groups but I leave it there.
When it comes to our brain, according to Dr. Arch, this digital invasion seems to change our brain not for the better. What seemed to catch my attention was he mentioned future generations will face a major challenge, he was referring to what “ abbreviated texting” will do to our future generation. I often wondered the same thing when I look at my own kids concerning texting.
Chapter 5 “ Relationship and Social Media”, when it comes to interaction with others, we do not seem to have that anymore. Many of us have lost the touch. We can be in the same room together physically but we are disconnected emotionally, because texting, social media and email seem to take the place of a face to face conversation. I remember one time at work, my boss who share the same office, Instead of talking to me to explain something, I received an email explaining what could have been said using a face to face conversation.
Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd mentioned on how she was caught by surprised that her home was digitally invaded. It is no surprised that in our home, none of us are immune to it. One can say that they are in control or cautious, but once kids are in the mix, we all will fall prey to this digital invasion. Dr. Sylvia also mentioned she was not aware that her son became addicted to video games until every other social events or even going to church events were getting to be boring for him and he had no desire to continue going.
Even though, us, parents have been victimized in our household, it is not too late to take full control. Dr. Arch mentioned that a parent should take a step forward and take control, they should say no to their children by restricting their access to their smartphones, social media and internet in general. I was fortunate enough to take control in my household when it comes to what has been filtered through the Internet. In chapter 9 in the book Dr. Archibald talked about an Internet filtering service called OpenDNS in which I am currently using.
OpenDNS is a free service where it can be configured through the home router using the company’s DNS. I have 3 children, a 20 year old, a 16 and a 11 year old and I found OpenDNS to be a useful tool, but one has to know his/her way around the router. I also have taken several steps by having limited Internet use on the 16 and the 11 year old phones, the 20 year old is old enough to be responsible.
When they at home, they are forced to use the WIFI , however when outside of our home, I do not have the control of their cell. Since this is a brief revision or review, I only mentioned what actually caught my attention.
I truly recommend this book to anyone, such as teens, adults, seniors, preachers, pastors etc. It has in dept information about the cause of the addiction and what can be done to control anyone’s addiction.