We are called to watchful attention
For the coming of the Lord in our lives
And our world.
The foolish virgins are an example
Of inattention and distraction.
Distractions are all around us
None more powerful these days
Than our electronic devices.
The computer age has certainly
Changed our world
But the age of smartphones
And experts say they are
If our phones and the
Social apps are too much
They’re designed that way…
To be used as much as possible
…to be addictive.
A recent study tabulated
25 % of our waking hours are
Spent on our phones
Email, texting, surfing, shopping,
Gambling, game playing.
A good portion of the rest of the time
Is spent anticipating their use
Waiting for return texts, emails
Nomophobia: fear of being separated from our mobile devices
World of Warcraft may be one of the most addictive behavioral experiences on the planet
Ten billion dollars, 100 million subscribers, 12th nation on earth
We can do and see almost anything
At the click of a button day or night:
Gamble, shop, work, look at sexual images.
Smartphones have unleashed unprecedented powerful addictions.
It isn’t that we have no willpower,
It’s that there are an army of
Highly paid experts
Behind every online app
Figuring out how to overcome
Convenience, availability and the illusion of privacy are factors.
Facebook’s stroke of genius
Was adding the “like” and “friend” functions
Which provide unpredictable
But small rewards for using the app
And then digitizing the results:
Likes, dislikes, comments, follow, unfollow;
Providing badges or awards for incremental use.
Who knows what post will be liked?
How can I expand my network of friends?
Can I get to level three?
What will go viral?
How many likes do I have now?
Click, click, click.
Work invades our leisure time with
Nearly 24 hours of work email, texts, alerts...
Even on vacation.
Our young people are particularly susceptible
to these devices and apps.
False social values and self-worth
Determined by Likes and followers and clicks.
Social interaction of young children - it's
Important to be free from screen time.
Steve Jobs wouldn’t allow his children
To have iPhones.
One of the first presidents of Facebook
Wouldn’t allow his children
To use the app.
Some of the best game developers
And programmers won’t play
World of Warcraft.
They are very powerful changers of behavior
How they change social interactions,
Family get-togethers and other
Functions is obvious to all of us
Even our worship is periodically invaded
So what do we do?
Work stays at work.
One company in Europe has all the desks
And office furniture wired to cables
And at closing time
The furniture is hoisted to the ceiling
Converting the space to a recreation area
Some companies are shutting off email
After hours and during employee
Vacations: mail on holiday
Providing an alternate contact for emergencies
But not accepting new emails
People don’t return from vacation
With overflowing inbox.
For measures we can take:
Parents are prohibiting any unsupervised internet access to young children
And if they provide them cell phones, only those without internet connectivity
No computer screens or TV’s in childrens’ rooms
Limiting hours of screen time
Self and others
Text-speak not the same as face-to-face communication
Advent is coming...
Think about a plan.
It’s easy to become distracted,
We don’t want to be caught off guard
And miss occasions of grace
Gratitude and good-will.
How can we become more attentive
To what’s important,
Not distracted by irrelevant
Advent 11 PM to Midnight Adoration
On Wednesday nights
Spending time with God
With family, friends
With the poor and hungry
With the sick and suffering
Praying for those we miss
In the real world
Not the virtual world
See Irresistible by Adam Alter and The Power of Silence by Robert Cardinal Sarah.