Text Less, Think More?

A recent article by Stephen L. Carter states — 13 to 17 year olds average seven texts “every waking hour,” or roughly one every 8 1/2 minutes!

Here are a few other observations of note that he makes:

My worry is that the ubiquity of texting may accelerate the decline of what our struggling democracy most needs: independent thought. Indeed, as texting crowds out other activities, it must inevitably crowd out inactivity — and there lies a danger. For inactivity and thinking are inextricably linked.

 …when the rest of the world thinks we are idle, the brain, if properly trained, is following its own path. Only then, he contends, are we truly thinking. The rest of the time we are analyzing and reacting, but our thoughts are then determined by responses to the thoughts of others. Unless we spend time in reflection — in idleness — we can never truly think thoughts of our own.

I could not agree more. I think our devices are making our personal thought lives crowded. Instead of riding an elevator or waiting in line at the store—I am looking at my phone.

This immediately made me think about how important it is for us to structure our conferences, church gatherings and learning environments to include space for reflection, processing and thought.

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