I’m a little behind with my Macleans magazine reading but I just finished an interesting article about how cluttered our minds are becoming.
“In 1976, the average supermarket stocked 9,000 different items. Today, its shelves are packed with 40,000. The spread of TV, video and computers – at work, at home and in our pockets – means that the average person now takes in the information equivalent of 175 newspapers each and every day.”
The article goes on to say that we are still trying to keep track of things using the systems that were put in place in a pre-computerized era. This results in spreading ourselves and our attention too thinly.
“It brings on a real phenomenon called decision fatigue. Every decision you make requires resources. Neurons are living cells with metabolisms. When they work, they need to replenish themselves with glucose, and that’s not in unlimited supply in the brain. The amount of choices we have in a day can be overwhelming. And later in the day, when you have to make some important decision, you’ve depleted these neural resources.”
I personally think that all our “smart” devices are making us dumber people and I find myself asking the following question quite regularly: In the midst of all this information overload and these multitasking challenges, how do I, as a Christian, stand my ground and maintain some semblance of balance? In particular, when do I, as a daily writer, blogger, FB’er, tweeter, emailer and tutor close the laptop and quiet my mind?
In other words, as a Christian, how do I keep up but also keep out?
What’s really interesting in this article is the author’s conclusion that we need to retreat and be self-disciplined – “Our environment is screaming at us and we feel stifled….It has to do with creating personal strategies. It has to do with breathing and space and being able to function.”
It always goes back to basics.
Change around us is constant but I’m not convinced that human beings have changed that much. Despite all of our individual uniqueness, don’t we still “tick” the same way, in terms of our longings and our needs? Our environment changes daily – technology continues to advance – but we all need love. We all need peace. We all need clarity.
But none of this comes from a cluttered mind.
I need to MAKE time apart and away from the craziness of this world. (Romans 12.2)
I was told that if I was writing a book, I HAD to get an Internet presence. Fair enough – I succumbed to the brutal reality that in this day and age, I have to be a writer AND a marketer. But it didn’t stop there – I was told that if I was going to market my book, I HAD to get on FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and the whole shebang.
So I did.
Now, I’m in places that I never thought I would be and honestly, I am weary and leary of it all. I do believe that my husband recently (and affectionately) called me a “Social Media Crazy Lady.”
That’s not good.
I’ve been noticing new and bad habits of time use in my life.
So, things need to change.
I’m working at closing the laptop at night time. (and keeping it closed!) I’m working at organizing my week so that Sundays are quiet, in terms of social media. I’m structuring my days so that there are pockets of time that are fiercely protected from emails, tweets and FB correspondence.
More importantly, I continue to find a quiet place in the morning and read my Bible. THAT’S when the love, peace and clarity come my way.
I’m making progress.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26.3