August 9, 2010

Digital Culture and the Church – Pt. 2

Posted in Digital Culture and the Church at 1:30 pm by billgepford

Professor Lenord Sweet defines this generation as the Google generation, and includes anyone born after 1973 (the emergence of the Cell Phone).  While Dr. Sweet is tons smarter than I am and I hate to disagree with him, I think we might need to look at more of a sliding scale for the emergence of Digital Natives.  There a lots of people born after 1973 who are still caught in the previous paradigm, and that’s fine.  The point is simply this – the world has already begun changing towards a new normal, and if the church doesn’t learn to adapt, it will slide into irrelevance.

So what does the new normal look like?  Lots of things.  Some aspects are still undetermined thanks to its still-evolving nature.  However, some facets of the new paradigm are beginning to solidify.  It is already becoming apparent that the Google generation processes information radically differently:

  • We don’t disconnect
  • We multitask
  • We expect information to come in multiple forms of media
  • We prefer graphics to text, and video to graphics
  • Finally, we are used to having everything at our fingertips whenever we want it
So how can the church adapt to the new normal?


  1. John Meunier said,


    Great summary and quite helpful.

    I’m curious, though. Is the fact that these things are so necessarily the same as saying they are good or even proper for Christian spirituality?

    I believe there are many studies that demonstrate that despite the multi-tasking ways of young people, they still have limited attention capacity. You cannot be fully present and multi-task at the same time. So, should we feed the multi-tasking impulse created by technology or say that worship – for instance – is a time in which all our attention comes to the worship space?

    In some ways, I read your list as the things we need to de-toxify the current generation from to help them actually experience the Holy Spirit.

  2. […] a comment » Bill Gepford writes about the generation born since 1973, called by Leonard Sweet the Google […]

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