Maverick Maniac's Musings

May 27, 2008

What’s the Point?

Filed under: Random Thoughts — Jon Green @ 6:10 pm

This post is more or less inspired by these two articles… and not at all like my normal posts.

http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=a_crisis_of_attention_and_intention

and

http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_read.php?id=1155

In summary, they talk about our attention, and how we diffuse it across so many things and don’t even pay attention to the things that matter.

There is a man who went back to see a professor he loved teach again, and was shocked at the students browsing the web during class. He sent the class this letter ,”I understand that your minds move quickly and we are all impacted by a fast paced culture, but do you realize the horror of shopping online while Dalton describes…mothers throwing their children into a well to avoid a barrage of bullets? What are you doing? There comes a day when we must become accountable for our own learning process…Take it on. This is your life. What is the point of neurotically skipping along the surface when all the beauty lies below? Please seize the moment and listen deeply to Dalton’s final lectures. Close the computers. Stop typing madly and soak in the themes he develops…Learning is an act of creativity, not mind-numbing, tv watching passive receptivity.”

I love what Mohler says, “This is good advice for us all, regardless of age. We are all living distracted lives that promise only to grow more complicated and distracted in years ahead. The discipline and stewardship of our attention is a matter of great and unquestionable urgency.

Join the revolution and refuse the seductions of the mind-numbing allure of all things digital — at least long enough to think a great thought, hear a great lecture, enjoy a quality conversation (with a real, live face-to-face human being), listen to a great sermon, visit a museum, read a good book, or take in a beautiful sunset.

People who cannot maintain mental attention cannot know the intimacy of prayer, and God does not maintain a Facebook page. Our ability to focus attention is not just about the mind, for it is also a reflection of the soul. Our Christian discipleship demands that we give attention to our attention.”

The first thing that this impacts me with is my tv viewing habits. I’m not gonna act like I watch a lot of TV. I didn’t watch a single series this spring. I watched some of American Idol, but not much. I find myself wanting to watch Lost though. Heard it’s a great show. I’m sure it is. Yet, what’s the point? Will it really make my life that much better if I’ve seen Lost? 81 episodes. At 40 minutes each, that’s 54 hours. more than 2 straight days. Think of what I could do with 54 hours. How many things can I do that have much more significance. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have fun or watch TV, but it’s good to think about what we watch and how much. 54 hours hanging out with friends would provide much better memories, and probably be much more profitable. I follow few shows heavily right now. 24 and Prison Break. The Office (though I didn’t see a single episode this season and surprisingly didn’t feel my life was missing something). I probably spend more of my time watching sports, which we all know is my great weakness and struggle. The same can be said of that though. Who really cares who wins between the US and England in the soccer game tomorrow? Is spending 2 hours watching that game really going to be better for me than hanging out with a friend having a great discussion, or helping someone out who needs a hand?

I hope this inspires you all to think about your media consumption and attention habits, and to think about what the point really is and if it’s worth the time you might spend on something that will impact your life so little.

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1 Comment »

  1. thank u

    Comment by wassim — June 14, 2008 @ 7:28 pm | Reply


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