Whoa! That was my reaction when I check out the blog of Edwin Arceo, Corporate Communications of CBN Asia Inc (they produce The 700 Club Asia). The blog (www.edwinarceo.com) reeks interesting topics like gadget reviews, social media, photography, health, Christian faith etc., things that is essential for your spiritual and digital life. With all this; is it safe to say he is the Tim Challies of the Philippines (minus the Calvinism)? Anyways, he opens up with Delighting Grace as I throw questions about Pinoy techies, gadgets, and being a blogger.
Delighting Grace: How do you describe Pinoys (Pilipinos) in terms of having the latest technology? Is it a good or bad thing?
Edwin Arceo: Pinoys in general really want to have the latest in technology but cannot afford it. I know of some who want it only for the bragging rights. For me it’s a bad thing. They get in debt. I know one who is now over 100,000 pesos in credit card because they have the latest iPhone, an iPad, game consoles. For me I save up first before I buy. That’s my rule…
Delighting Grace: What are things we should consider in using technology for church or ministry?
Edwin Arceo: Technology is good for the church, no doubts there. My problem is with the church trampling on intellectual property rights. Pirated software for displaying worship music on screen. Pirated music so that the worship team can practice it or so that each member of the team can have their own copy to practice on. Photocopying whole books to save on costs. The list can go on. Its really bad because even the church condones it. If the church wants to use technology, we need to make sure that the testimony of Jesus is not stained because of these issues I enumerated.
Delighting Grace: Social media is on top right now so how do we as Christians make most of it?
Edwin Arceo: Christians should seize the opportunity provided by social media. We can get easily connected with the unchurch because of Facebook. Once we are connected to them, sharing testimonies is a lot easier, practical and accessible there is no physical contact involved–yet. Social media opens people to the opportunity of being shared with the gospel. Meeting people you have not met in a long time, high school buddies for example, gives us the chance introduce them to Jesus in a non-threatening environment. When I share my blog posts on my Facebook account, my classmates can see them and it opens doors for inquiries about faith.
Delighting Grace: Now in terms of buying new gadgets what tips could you give us especially for us believers?
Edwin Arceo: Believers should not buy because of the marketing hype surrounding a new gadget. We should buy because we know how it is going to be useful to us, how it is going to make our lives more productive. Function is more important to me than form. I own an iPad and I use it in productive ways more than any other people I know who owns it. I made a blog post on my website on how I use it to make my investment worth it. We should also not buy on credit even on 0% interest and 12 months to pay.
Delighting Grace: Personally, how did technology change you, Sir Edwin?
Edwin Arceo: I live with technology every day. It made life easier but also made life more hectic. It’s both a blessing and a curse. People can easily contact you and disturb you. I have to make a conscious effort to stay away from technology for even a few hours! I miss the days when there were no celphones, internet or computers. But then, I cannot also imagine life without them. 8-(
Delighting Grace: Very well said. For you what are the techie must-haves for Christians? Can you give your top 5?
Edwin Arceo: 1. Apple iPad. Get one (if you can afford it) and get smart with the apps you put on it. If you can still afford a few thousand more, get the model with 3G. Decide that you will not upgrade to the next model because the build of this gadget is unbelievable. It can replace your computer, be it a desktop or a laptop. If you can’t afford it the next best thing for me is the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Just get the right apps.
2. If you will spend on apps for your iPad, make sure to spend on a digital version of your Bible. The iPad changed my daily Bible reading habits. I paid $13 for a copy of the New Living Translation of the Bible.
3. A digital point and shoot camera like the Canon S100. I recommend it because of the great reviews it has already received from sources I respect. Read the manual first though. Memories are important.
4. A smartphone that can sync with your computer that can sync with your iPad. Isn’t it great that your computer, ipad and Smartphone contains all the same contacts, calendars, tasks and notes?
5. Not really techie but you need a sturdy, discreet looking bag that can contain all your tech without looking like you have over 80,000 (iPad: 36K, Canon S100: 26,000, Phone: 18,000) pesos worth of gadgets.
Delighting Grace: What a list! Your blog (www.edwinarceo.com) is a fusion of the digital and Christian life. So please tell us how did you start your blog?
Edwin Arceo: I started my blog because I love writing. I also love to teach and share about my faith in Jesus. I’m also a photographer and designer. I wanted to have one place to write about all these things but most especially about my faith. I was playing with blogs in 2009 but did not really get serious until October 2010 when I decided that I will write a regularly updated blog. The posts I write about faith comes from my daily reading of the Bible and what God impresses on me that I should share about.
Delighting Grace: Any parting word for those techie Pinoy Christians who might be reading this and want to buy the latest gadget.
Edwin Arceo: Buy a gadget if you have a job. If you don’t have a job, get one and don’t let your parents buy it for you especially if you know you cannot afford it yet.
Delighting Grace: Again guys for the latest in gadgets, technology, the Christian faith and everything in between, I recommend Sir Edwin’s blog. Thanks for this opportunity Sir Edwin. God bless you and your ministry….