iPad Addiction, again

Infants are Addicted to iPads

Society's uncritical embrace of (and subsequent obsession with) technology is a book that needs to be rewritten every day.

"But technology is neutral!" (side note: where have we heard this before?) you cry. In theory many things are neutral, but Christians know that it's not the technology that we need to worry about--it is our old friend, sin, that constantly threatens to drag us into wrongdoing.

Take a moment and visit the article below:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10767878/Infants-unable-to-use-toy-building-blocks-due-to-iPad-addiction.html

Some of my favorite moments:

Many children aged just three or four can “swipe a screen” but have little or no dexterity in their fingers after spending hours glued to iPads, it was claimed.

Loss of physical dexterity? Check. Nobody needs to manipulate anything in the 'real world' anyway.

Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers also warned how some older children were unable to complete traditional pen and paper exams because their memory had been eroded by overexposure to screen-based technology.

As a long-time computer user I find this relevant to my interests. Technology is relieving us of our need to memorize, and possibly this is desirable (random example: http://blogs.lt.vt.edu/vicdicenzo/2014/03/19/the-google-mind ) but the Christian should approach this one with caution.

“I have spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks or the like, or the pupils who cannot socialise with other pupils but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone.”

The part that should be concerning here is the parents who "talk proudly" that their children are enamored with the screen. Are they proud of their children's ability to eat candy and watch T.V. as well?

What This Means for the Church

If the cultural wind is blowing (No, "blowing" isn't the right word. It's a gentle breeze perhaps) in the direction I think it is, the chorus of voices decrying our "screen obsession" might keep getting louder. More studies might be undertaken. What would they find? That overstimulation and screen-based living does something undesirable to our minds? What would these studies imply with respect Christendom?

Perhaps the screens (in the form of movies and T.V.) have already begun their work. We see the results in "multisensory worship," a phenomenon that could have only taken root in an MTV-influenced culture.

What does Church look like for the next generation of souls, attached to an iPad from infancy? Just for fun I tried to imagine. I thought, "Hey, how about a twitter church! Ha ha!"

Turns out someone already thought of it--five years ago:

http://www.tominthebox.net/2009/03/twitter-church.html

On a serious note, parents need to keep in mind that there are risks to overexposure to tech, and while those risks might be cognitive or physical, they might have serious implications for their ability to learn and remember the Word of God.

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