Get Religion has posted a review of an interesting Wall Street Journal article examining how cell phones are affecting Hutterite culture. The GR post uses that example to touch on the larger issue of religion and technology, which is one of those rare topics that hasn’t been kicked around the Bloggernacle much. Christian radio, televangelism, and online churches come to mind for American religion in general. How has technology impacted the LDS Church?
Obviously, LDS.org has become a real focus of the Church, the realization of what I have termed the One True Website concept. While I coined that term in jest, I have to say that I’m impressed with how useful the site has become over the years. The emergence of the LDS Newsroom site is just the latest good thing to happen there. [Since it is really part of the LDS.org colossus, the Newsroom is sort of a site within a site.]
A couple of other recent examples: Missionaries are now using cell phones in some missions, although I don’t know how widespread that is or how use of the cell phones is controlled. [I wonder if text messaging is allowed?] And every LDS chapel now sports a stylish satellite dish somewhere on the back lawn. They’ve been around for awhile and weren’t used much for the first ten or fifteen years, but recently I have noted a real surge in attempts to beam live discussion by area or general leaders into stake conferences or leadership training meetings. I’m not sure how effective that has been.
So tell me, dear reader, what has your experience been of the impact of technology on LDS practice and culture? I’m especially curious whether it is able to bring overseas LDS congregations, which have always felt somewhat isolated, into closer contact with the larger Mormon community.