Modern distraction and sensory overload

(Billie Corbett) #1

How can believers to safe guard from the overwhelming distractions competing for our minds and relentless sensory stimulus which has become the norm of modern life, without having to go to some extreme?
Is it just me, or is finding solitude to be contemplative becoming harder and harder?

(Charlotte Bear) #2

It is indeed harder to find solitude for focus on devotional and spiritual pursuits. The fact that I am writing this now and not reading my Bible and praying proves the draw of electronic devices.
I compare it to diet, so many wonderful foods are available at the touch of a button, but I have to choose daily what makes me feel best and serves my body.
Though that may seem simplistic, the parralell rings true for my spiritual body, so it is a daily moment-by-moment decision process in which I fail spectacularly sometimes and by the grace of God occasionally find the focus needed to remove the distractions and receive the Spirit and the teaching meant for me do I can carry on with the work I’m meant to do.

(Alex Barber) #3

@Billie this is such a great question and one that I also am trying to address.

Phones and the internet can constitue a massive drain on our time, which is really a gift from God for us to use for his glory. When I frame it that way, sometimes I feel a radical shift is the appropriate response, but I genuinely believe that different people have different callings in this area. As easy as it is to use our time on our phones and the internet to build ourselves up, or to accomplish selfish things, it’s possible to redeem that time by giving of ourselves to others in online forums and in other redemptive ways.

In trying to address this for yourself, I would highly recommend This talk on smartphone overuse by Tony Reinke, which I found very interesting and helpful. He also has a book called 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You, which I have not read but have added to my own reading list.

Hope the resources are helpful :slight_smile:

(Denis) #4

I personally try to use my time on the internet well, for evangelism for the gospel. The other day I noticed that about 112 friends read what I post onto my whatsapp status updates. And about 4 out of those turn out to be really good conversations, around issues of doctrine, evangelism and faith. This is how I convice myself that it wasnt a distraction afterall.

I have also found it nice to take one official day off from social media to be intentional about real conversations with real people in real space and time. The madness of social media is that when you are with real people in a room, you tend to have online chats with friends elsewhere, instead of having them with the ones you are currently physically with. And when you away from the ones you were with, you find yourself texting them.

‘Andrew Sullivan: My Distraction Sickness — and Yours’

This is a good article. Not exactly written from a Christian Worldview but it has quite a point to make about social media.

(Billie Corbett) #5

Thank you, Tikaraldo.
I appreciate your response and will check out what you hsve recommended. :+1:

(Stephen Wuest) #6

I would say throw out the world’s concept of “extreme” behavior. Much of the “usual” online behavior is actually extreme. Checking your email 10 times an hour? Sharing every little thought that you have, with everyone on your home page?

High tech societies are addicted to shallow, meaningless behavior, based on popularity. This wages war against careful thinking, and activities that seek to seriously learn.

(Billie Corbett) #7

I would tend to be in agreement with you.