Here’s a fun exercise: Watch the new Microsoft commercial ‘Empowering’ below. It’s part of the company’s Superbowl advertising blitz.
Not bad – eh?
Now watch it again, but this time, replace the word ‘technology’ with Christ. Isn’t it weird how easily a tech company commercial is so easily turned into a something that sounds like a Sunday sermon?
The terms used in the voice-over (“hope for the hopeless”, “voice for the voiceless”, “technology can unite us all”) are further intensified by the miraculous nature of the images. A blind man who now sees (in order to paint). Children without legs who can now walk. A deaf person who hears for the first time. Don’t misunderstand me – these are great things that we should all celebrate. However – should we put our “hope’ in technology because of them?
A more important question we should all ask: Why does a commercial for a software company sound so much like a call to faith?
Without question, many technological advances have made possible an array of digital tools which have changed our lives in innumerable ways – both for better and for worse. However, humanity runs into a problem when we begin to deify the tools and not the God who supplied the knowledge, materials, and understanding that made the tools possible.
Even secular authors, such as Evgeny Morozov in his book “Click Here to Save Everything”, have questioned the wisdom of technological solutionism.
Do you think Microsoft’s new commercial is calling us to put our faith in technology?
Or is this just a simple Superbowl commercial?
Sound off in the comments!
I don’t get it. Is technology bad? Is it the love of technology that’s bad? Everything comes from Christ. I get that. I KNOW that. Am I supposed to thank Him before I use technology? Couldn’t the same thing be said about money? What are you asking us to do differently?
There’s nothing wrong with technology. The problem occurs when we treat it as something that is more than a tool. For example, there’s a line in the commercial that says:
“It (technology) gives hope to the hopeless.”
Should we be placing our hope in technology? Or in anything other than Christ?
If you’re a Christian, the answer would be no.
Did Microsoft seriously mean for us to throw away our crosses and wear Microsoft logos around our necks? I’m sure they didn’t. But they elevate technology by describing it as something that unites, gives hope, and voice to voiceless and run the risk of likening it to savior, which it isn’t.
We were created for worship. As Christians we worship Christ, because He “gives us hope.” Christ brings “hope to the hopeless.” There is nothing wrong in the use of technology. However, when man made technology elevates itself to a position of knowledge and authority that professes to bring “hope to the hopeless”, then there is cause for concern. Though not apparent now, technology intends to elevate its man-made knowledge and authority over the knowledge and authority of God. Professing to bring “Hope to the Hopeless” is a part of that intent.
I think the reason why a software company commercial sounds like a call to faith rest in the nature of software itself. It is not as physical as other technology that mankind sees everyday – cars, boats, trains, planes, cameras, rockets, and more. The ad has to emphasize what tech should solve.
Moreover, is a call to faith universal in something such as an ad – many events or occurrence can be a call to someone based on what their faith is telling them.