I have four children.
They watch me.
In order to know how to behave and what to do, they watch me. As they are growing, I am their main example of an adult. They might not realize that they’re learning from me, but they are.
How do I speak to their mother? That is how they will speak to their wives.
How much TV do I watch? That is what they will watch.
What sports do I follow? They’ll probaby enjoy those later too.
How do I fill my free time? That’s how they’ll learn to occupy themselves.
Which is why I want you to tell me to stop if you see me playing games on my phone. I want to stop doing that, because it is a waste of time.
What good is it, really? Are my children going to brag to their friends about how well I play cards by myself? And they’re not even real cards – I’m just tapping my finger on a rectangle of glass.
When my kids are grown, which will they remember: that I played soccer in the yard with them or that I spent their childhood looking at a rectangle in my hands?
I read an article in WORLD magazine that discussed the rise of online games. While it has been great for the people at Zynga, the makers of Farmville and Words with Friends, I wonder how great it is for the general population.
The main quote from someone at Zynga stood out to me. He said how their games were perfect for filling idle time throughout the day.
The problem I have with that is that our brains need rest. Bits of downtime throughout the day are good for the brain.
People need to learn how to be quiet without being bored. To be unoccupied peacefully.
Can you be alone with only your thoughts for company?
If not, what does that say about your thoughts?
How prevalent is daydreaming anymore?
From where would the great ideas come if everyone is Drawing Something instead of Doing Something?
It seems to me that any new development or trend in society was foretold by Aldous Huxley in Brave New World. And online games are no exception.
On the surface, at first glance, you would equate Huxley’s soma to today’s illegal drugs. Which is true to some degree, but I extend that to anything that placates the masses into complacency.
Are there grumblings in the population? Release a new app for their phones! Are the people unhappy? Stream them some more movies!
People consume and consume and consume. We hear about that in the current obesity studies and health measures. But shouldn’t the same principle apply to our minds?
If all I’m doing is consuming games and apps and tweets and blogs, is my mind being exercised or stuffed?
I try to produce as much as I consume – match my caloric output with my input and limit my input. That applies to the web/internet/social media too. I’m producing things now – the key is to figure out how to produce useful things. More puns are fun, but what good does that do the world?
I need to also apply that to my spiritual life. To be still and know that He is God. To meditate on His Word. And then to produce. I am excellent at sitting in the pew and consuming. How can I balance my spiritual input with my spiritual output? I bet it starts with my four children.
a bit of entertainment = fine,
excess entertainment = amusing yourself to death.
(If it was true for television, then it is even more true for the things that succeed the TV).
Make me understand the way of Your precepts, So I will meditate on Your wonders.