Driving through McDonald’s recently, my sense of guilt was replaced by another feeling: frustration. Not at my greasy cheeseburger, but at the teenage girl taking my money. I could live with her not looking me in the eye, or even saying hello—it’s sad, but civility isn’t necessarily common these days. I was upset for another reason.
She was texting. Feverishly. Who? No idea. This girl was paid to talk to me and to handle my money, yet she was engrossed in her little plastic phone—her thumb moving at impressive speed—totally disengaged from her surroundings.
We live in a gadget-dominated society, and young people are the vanguard of it. In fact, young people spend more time using media than at any other single activity besides sleeping. The average American 8-to-18-year-old spends more than six hours a day using media; take into account media multitasking (using a television, the computer and texting concurrently, for example), which is at an all-time high for teens, and that figure grows to 8½ hours! (“Children and Electronic Media,” Princeton-Brookings study, Spring 2008).
They wake up to iPods blaring John Mayer and Miley Cyrus. Earphones dangle from their heads as they walk or bus to school. Before, during and after class, they instant message on laptops and chat or text with cell phones. The frenzy intensifies when school finishes: After-school activities, be they sports, exercise, work, homework or socializing, are grafted with sustained rounds of text messaging, instant messaging, MySpace and Facebook updating and browsing, cell phone chatting, e-mail checking, virtual gaming, YouTube surfing, tv watching and Top 40 listening.
Too many teenage minds today have been kidnapped by flashy gadgets. This misguided, undisciplined and constant use of technology is robbing them of intellectual curiosity and mental maturity. Young people surrender the ability and time to think, reason and judge—their minds hijacked by a new form of Stockholm Syndrome! Mental maturation is impeded because the young person lives life in the shallows, distracted from exploring the mysteries and majesties of deep thought.
This unprecedented infatuation with technology has become an epidemic. It’s a new addiction, a cultural vice akin to alcoholism, drug abuse and smoking. Consider: Our young people’s overuse of technology ravages the mind in the same manner alcoholism ravages the liver and smoking degenerates the lungs. Like alcoholism and drug abuse, this addiction drives a wedge between the user and those around him. It diverts young minds from the present, from parents, from teachers, from books, from homework. Parents and siblings become annoyances, distractions from the screen. Work is a stumbling block to texting. Teachers are white noise behind in-class IM; homework is a fourth-tier priority squeezed in between MySpace posts. Everything substantive, meaningful and purposeful is marginalized, while unimportant, unnecessary, even harmful activities are given bountiful attention.
Activities once used as opportunities for contemplation and self-analysis—walking alone to school, riding the school bus, taking a minute to lie quietly on the bed, driving, reading, working alone—are merely different environs in which to chat on the phone or text message (often with a friend the person has been with all day at school), or listen to monotonous, mind-numbing pop music.
This is our world. Physical and mental downtime is despised. Solitude is feared. Independent thinking is abhorred. Critical thinking is a lost art.
Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with talking on a cell phone, texting or listening to music. But when these activities consume the mind and crowd out other substantive activities, they become weapons of mental destruction. Yes, they demand mental concentration and activity—but so much of it is reactionary and emotion-based. They require rapid user response, but generally little contemplation. Critical thinking and creative thought are crushed in the hands of immediacy. The mind is active—but it is action void of substance and leading nowhere. It’s the kind of mental activity that actually destroys quality thinking.
The end result: young generations plagued by a lack of substance and depth, purpose and drive
Strong minds and substantive, meaningful, purpose-driven lives, on the other hand, are built around certain constants that are based on deeper thought—strong human relationships, law, contemplation, self-analysis, reading, study, prayer, meditation. All of these require time and uninterrupted, original, imaginative thought
The human mind is a spectacular instrument. This generational addiction to gadgetry is destroying one of the greatest gifts ever bestowed upon mankind, the human mind!
The dazzling intricacies of the human mind would take an entire book to discuss adequately. And that’s exactly what we want to give you. It’s called The Incredible Human Potential, and we’ll give it to you free upon request. If you study this book, you’ll come to see that the attack on the minds of our young people is actually an attack on the highest form of God’s physical creation! This book explains the magnificent difference between the human brain and the animal brain. It reveals the human mind for exactly what it is: an instrument with the potential to receive God’s greatest gift to mankind—to be joined with the very mind of God! It will teach you how to take care of your mind, how to develop and strengthen it, and, most importantly, how to add a spiritual dimension to your life that will truly expand your mind to embrace its full, incredible human potential!
Request your free copy now!