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[The Creation of the Chicken]

An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
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Thursday, June 23, 2011

What ails us?

Life online gives us 'Popcorn Brain.' Is it JUST online? Take a look at television today as compared to television 30 years ago...or God forbid...television before there was television.

Am I the only one to think of aspergers when I read this:

Clifford Nass, a social psychologist at Stanford, says studies show multitasking on the Internet can make you forget how to read human emotions. When he showed online multitaskers pictures of faces, they had a hard time identifying the emotions they were showing.

When he read stories to the multitaskers, they had difficulty identifying the emotions of the people in the stories, and saying what they would do to make the person feel better.


Now don't get me wrong, I do understand that aspergers and autism are very serious disorders, but they absolutely present with symptoms like this and it makes me wonder when we start diagnosing people later in life. Does our TV and internet lifestyle LEAD to diseases like this? Before you balk at the idea, keep in mind that MANY environmental things lead to disease...UV light from the sun leads to melanoma for example. And in that youthful stage of brain development, who can say that raising a child on MTV, Facebook, XBOX, iPhone, iPAD, and Windows Messenger etc etc doesn't lead to our youthful inability to concentrate, relate outside the comfort of a screen or keyboard, focus, or be QUIET for any remotely lengthy period of time. Have we reached the very pinnacle of that state the Father's have warned us against? Are we unable to suffer the quiet and solitude of our own thoughts? Must we be perpetually distracted? I think so. I really think so.

Another connection?

...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 6:12 PM [+]
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2 comments


2 Comments:

I agree completely. I notice this at sports practices, where the kids that are more "modernized" (video games, iphones, etc) not only have a short attention span, but they're simply accustomed to being distracted. Because they can't focus, they're less observant. They don't pick up subtleties because they don't study anything for more than 10 seconds.

- Steve K

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:01 PM  

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It certainly leads me to wonder about things like the sudden epidemic of ADHD too. I've seen it in my own kids and I'm fairly sure they get less screen time than the average American child...but that's not to imply they don't get too much at that level.

In developing brains I can certainly imagine the ill effects of music video attention spans. How can such folks be expected to endure an Orthodox Liturgy?

Another interesting feature is how early a child will be glued to a television or computer screen - something about that sort of imagery certainly appeals to something within us. I'm willing to bet there's a fairly strong physiological response going on...perhaps even having some mild addictive factors to it. But for certain, I think there is a progression that happens that leads us to be less and less entertained by the slow or "mundane."

Passions fed and then run amok? And even diagnosable now because of it being so problematic? And what would "Orthodox Psychotherapy" have to say of this (in the general sense, not specifically the book of that title)? I really do wonder how many of these very real and troubling problems we have these days can be linked to things like our TV/Internet usage?

This is all largely me thinking out loud. In the end I think we can all use a healthy dose of quiet, solitude, slowing down, with electrical entertainment turned off. Even if this isn't responsible for somethings that ail us and our children, we all know it will do us some good.

By Blogger JamesoftheNorthwest, at 10:48 AM  

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