For several weeks people urged me to watch, “The Social Dilemma.” Frankly, I was pretty much blown away. Not by the contents of the program but by people’s surprise at the contents. Why the surprise? It’s been blatantly obvious for years that people are absolutely addicted to their phones and social media. It’s been pretty clear for many decades that Truth has gone by the wayside and, if one paid attention, one could easily see the stage being set for the coming one world government.
Are people literally “addicted” to their phones? The American Psychiatric Association defines addiction “as a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences. People with addiction have an intense focus on using a certain substance to the point that it takes over their lives.” We can be addicted to things other than alcohol or chemicals. Try games. Or television. In The Social Dilemma one of the teenagers bets his mother that he can go without his phone for a week. Nope, couldn’t do it.
2011 Americans would rather go a week without seeing their significant others than give up their phone; they’d also rather give up sex, alcohol, chocolate, exercise, or shoes for the same period of time
2015 they’d give up sex for a year rather than their phone.
2018 10% of Millennials would rather lose a finger than their smart phone; 41% would give up shampooing their hair for a week.
2020 75.4% of people admit they are addicted to their phones; 65.7% sleep with their phone; 87.8% feel uneasy leaving their phone at home; 65.6% check their phone up to 160 times a day; 64.3% have texted someone in the same room as them
The year 2012 sticks in my mind. Not only was it the year I got facebook on my PC so I could connect with grandkids and Youth Group kids, but it was also the last year that Keith Hersant and I taught Youth Group Juniors and Seniors. We had to insist that phones be handed over because the kids couldn’t just turn them off or leave them alone; they would sneak peaks at them. Often before Youth Group I would eat at the local Chinese buffet. I was constantly struck by families who would come in with a teenager in tow. This kid would be carrying his/her plate back to the table and then eating while checking their phones non-stop. Not once did I hear a parent say, “Turn it off; put it down.” In many cases the parent(s) were also totally absorbed in the phone.
Another character in The Social Dilemma, the middle school girl, literally takes a hammer and in front of her parents she breaks into the case where her mother has locked everyone’s phone for one hour. She is not reprimanded; no one says a word. What happened to parent power? What happened to “just say ‘no’?” When did parents stop actually raising children to be responsible adults? The Bible warns us that in future times, “I will make mere youths their officials; children will rule over them…the young will rise up against the old…youths oppress my people…” (Is 3:4-12)
What’s so bad about spending hours every day on our phones? The most obvious point is that we aren’t spending it with the people we love. Not really. Sitting next to someone without actually paying any attention to them doesn’t count. The really bad thing is that when texting someone or posting something on social media, we are more willing to say negative things. We cannot read the other person’s body language and facial expressions when we are not looking at them. We don’t see the delight on their face or the tears in their eyes or the slump to their shoulders or the clench of their jaws. These are very important social cues. I think this lack of non-verbal communication is one of the direct causes of all the hate that is spewed out today. If it could be said without consequence over the phone, why not take it one step further and do so in person?
Next time Part 2 will look at what’s news and truth and what isn’t.
If you have not seen “The Social Dilemma”, you just might want to do so. If you have seen it, maybe watch it again. In both cases, watch it from the perspective of seeing Satan as being in charge behind the scenes – where he prefers to be.
Please, neither off-handedly accept nor reject what is said in this blog. Check it out. Look it up for yourself in the Bible. If you are a child of God you are in good hands and there is the most wonderful eternity waiting for you. If you are not a Christ follower, now is a really good time to honestly explore the truth claims of the Bible.