I want to point you to a couple of articles this week. In the Christianity Today article, Screen Time is Changing the Way We Think, Focus, and Memorize, Chad Meeks, provides helpful information and insight about the impact of smartphones on our thinking. It seems that new research comes out every week suggesting that increased smartphone usage is altering our mental capacities. Digital technology, like all tools, has many helpful benefits, but like all good things, its misuse can bring adverse consequences.
And along the same lines, Philip Yancey, in a recent Washington Post article, laments that The Death of Reading is Threatening the Soul. Yancey says that while he used to read deeply, widely, and voraciously, and his reading was integral in shaping his soul, now he finds that, “The internet and social media have trained my brain to read a paragraph or two, and then start looking around. When I read an online article from the Atlantic or the New Yorker, after a few paragraphs I glance over at the slide bar to judge the article’s length. My mind strays, and I find myself clicking on the sidebars and the underlined links. Soon I’m over at CNN.com reading Donald Trump’s latest tweets and details of the latest terrorist attack, or perhaps checking tomorrow’s weather.” I think everyone can identify with this problem. Yancy goes on to describe how he and others must build a “fortress of habits” with “walls strong enough to withstand the temptations of that powerful dopamine rush while also providing shelter for an environment that allows deep reading to flourish. Christians especially need that sheltering space, for quiet meditation is one of the most important spiritual disciplines.”