In the fall of 1994 (several months after the clip below aired) I was introduced to “the Internet.” My transport was a creaky old portable computer, my engine was a 9600 baud modem, and the highway was called “Prodigy.”
I was blown away.
It took forever to do anything, but the endless minutes I spent getting news and weather updates for Eastern’s radio station changed my life. I realized, if computers and modems got a bit faster, this Internet thing would change the world. In 1995 I got my faster computer, a 486 DX2 66Mhz with 8 MB of RAM. A Several months after that I got my first modem, 14400 Baud, and signed up for a trial at AOL. By the time my senior year rolled around Eastern had finally gotten access to the World Wide Web and e-mail for students – AOL went bye-bye and life has really never been the same.
Sometimes I have to remind myself just how much it’s changed. I’ve gone from crawling on the fledgling World Wide Web to blazing through the greatest information network in human history in less than two decades. Being online used to tie up our phone line, then we got broadband, then we went wireless, now we’ve dropped the computer out of the equation and are using appliances. Whereas we used to use the phone to get on the Internet, we now use the Internet to give us a phone (and we really don’t know why we have a home phone at all any more, to be honest).
The world has changed. It hasn’t changed all for the better, but denying that it has changed is a sure-fire path toward irrelevancy and death for any organization – Churches must take heed of this. If you doubt that we need to re-work our language, context, and tactics for this world – just take a look at the clip below. It’s comical to watch now, but in 1994, no one knew how to reference the Internet (or even what it WAS). A decade and a half later it’s built in to our culture’s psyche – is it burned into the Church’s yet?