Attention Deficit Culture

I was recently thinking on how few Christians read the Bible, or even Christian books, for any serious length of time or do much diligent study. I’m been thinking this because it’s been difficult for me to have the discipline I need to do serious study. I feel like I have Attention Deficit Disorder, my mind constantly wandering around even while I’m reading. I’m using my laptop to write a paper, yet get distracted with a blog, news headline, or facebook blip in a second. I naturally go that way.

It occurred to me that our culture actually teaches us to be ADD. Quick sound bites, typing twitter characters in 150 characters or less and facebook in a little more, short articles, world news in 60 seconds, short headlines, text messages with ridiculous abbreviations… Everything is so fast and condensed.  The internet itself allows you to satisfy the slightest question, idea, or desire in a matter of seconds. I saw a book from an English professor at Emery called The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future. I’m inclined to believe him.

Our culture is built against going too deep, understanding anything to any profound level, or spending a good length of time on something truly important. How much has living in this environment affected us? In one generation this happened. I still talk to people who went to college without computers or internet and I’m shocked at how they ever did it – revealing my dependence! Have so many humans ever had this much instant gratification? The world is changing before our eyes. I hope we have the sense to stop long enough to ask who we are, what are we doing, is it purposeful, or even meaningful?



  1. Lem Usita

    I love this post Paul.
    If we don’t know how to go deep – then we will never be able to have the deep cry out to deep. We can never truly know ourselves or other people. This also has implications for how we can know God.
    It took sustained attention to write this post – thanks for the insight and the reminder.

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