I’m convinced attention spans are greatly diminished in this 21st century. Undoubtedly there are more than a few causes. It is the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the drugs we take, but I won’t address them all here. I will, however, address the constant bombardment of electronic stimuli from ever angle imaginable, including our hands now.
Though television has been around for decades, and has certainly played its part in diminishing our attention spans by preventing the natural creation of imagery that used to occur in our imaginations, I think the smart phones could be even more dangerous. Look at people everywhere. Look at your own habits. My own frighten me.
The fact is that we have no idea what the long term effects of smart phones on ALL of us will be. We especially don’t know the effects upon the minds of children given a smart phone at an early age to serve as a pacifier – and those effects won’t be good.
In spite of the unknown, it doesn’t take a rocket science to deduce that increased addiction to electronic stimuli will manifest ever greater levels of disconnect from all aspects of the real reality before our eyes. Real reality will satiate less and less the curiosity of our minds. Electronic images will be all our virtually dead imaginations will crave. It could come to pass that even if we wanted to pay attention to what is before us, we couldn’t.
I fear our addiction to electronic images will snowball to a point where the unreal reality – the Matrix or Simulation or Metaverse or whatever you wish to call it – will be the preferred state of existence. This addiction could very well clamor for neural links to pleasure centers of the brain to make the Simulation hopelessly addictive. It could fry brains, literally.
Once upon a time in my life, to say humanity could very well become Borg would receive derision. But times change. I now feel myself justified in deriding the one who would still deride such a statement about the potential future of mankind.
And I think there’s a helluva lot more people now who also would entertain these thoughts.
However, because American culture is so directed – that is, Americans’ minds are so directed – by what’s on TV or Netflix or Facebook, this is something we won’t talk about. American insouciance doesn’t take it seriously because it’s told not to take it seriously. As with countless other topics, ignoring them will unleash unimaginable pain.
Seeing children hypnotized by phones at a restaurant recently made me think of this. I just don’t understand how parents can allow this. I don’t care if you’re tired or stressed.
Allowing this addiction is the opposite of love.
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