Thursday, January 07, 2016

The sad case of the hoverboarding priest

More techie goodness from my geeky world. I talked about this on last week's Clicked In segment on CTV News Channel* and thought it would be fun to share here, as well:

Pity the hoverboard. Not only is it not a true hoverboard (unlike Marty McFly's board from Back to the Future II, it has wheels, and most definitely does not hover) but it's been getting a lot of negative publicity lately. Exploding batteries, airline bans, injuries and legal run-ins. It's ugly all around.

Now, the ultimate insult to injury. Over the holiday period, a priest in the Philippines decided to use a hoverboard during Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. To no one's surprise, the video of him cruising up and down the aisles of his church during the service went viral.

Unfortunately, Internet fame doesn't always mean a happy ending. His bosses, apparently, were not amused. The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Pablo, in a Facebook post, no less, ripped him a new one for using the hoverboard in what they call an inappropriate manner: 

Then they suspended him from his post to give him the time to reflect on his mistake. He's since apparently acknowledged the error of his ways, and promises it'll never happen again.

I'm guessing Google Glasses and prayer apps are also out of the question at this particular church. Which is something of a bummer, because innovative use of technology as an engagement tool could be an effective means of turning around sagging membership and boosting participation numbers. Maybe I'm too much of a religious heathen for my own good, but you'd think church leaders wrestling with falling attendance and shuttered buildings might want to rethink how they plan to appeal to the next generation of congregants, namely folks who were raised on smartphones, apps and, yes, hoverboards.

The key is balancing the tech with the traditional: Not always easy to do, as we can see here, but if I ever had the opportunity to meet him, I'd still high-five the priest for trying.

Your turn: Does a hoverboard - or an app, or a picoprojector or similar piece of technology - belong in a church, synagogue, mosque or other place or worship? Is tech disrespectful to religion, a critical marketing tool to drive future growth, or something in between?

* Every Sunday at 8:20pm Eastern, I chat about two or three of the most notable tech stories from the past week with Scott Laurie on CTV News Channel. If you're in Canada, hope you can tune in. If not, I'll post links to the video as they become available.


Michael Manning said...

Carmi: I had to laugh at this one. It tickled the funny bone and would seem to appeal to kiddos too. Sounds like the chastising was harsh. I think using the hover board was rather unique! :)

Tabor said...

The Catholic Church does not change easily or smoothly.