Are We Using Technology, or Is Technology Using Us? That’s the fall focus of the Sinai and Synapses Discussion Forum. Each week, we’ll gather some of the most interesting articles on the topic from across the online world. We hope they make you think — and share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Here’s the news from the week ending December 12, 2014:

 
An exhibition and two books show how technology is changing our interactions with time. (Tim Maughan, New Scientist)
 
 
Introspective writing keeps people alive and well. A new tool makes it easy. Maybe too easy. (James Hamblin, The Atlantic)
 
Nate Madden argues that technology is unraveling the bonds of community: “I ask you to imagine what your day would look like without the available conveniences now afforded to us. Your morning news might have to come from a newsstand where you would have to interact with someone, as would your food, and your clothing. … Alas, the idea of the community of souls and people has become as clichéd as the belief in dragons and unicorns in the modern discussion.” (The Evangelical Pulpit, Patheos)
 
Arranged marriages are standard practice in many societies, but the introductions and screening process can be an ordeal for the young people involved – even if they are pleased with the eventual outcome. Some Western Muslims have concluded that online matchmaking can help reduce embarrassment. (Lydia Green, BBC Arabic)
 
Pope Francis used a tablet to light the tree, which is made of 1,000 colored lights and measures 2,460 feet (750 metres) tall by nearly 1,500 feet (450 metres) wide. (Kathy Schiffer, Seasons of Grace, Patheos)