The purpose of this broadcast is to share critical insights from The Digital Invasion, written by Dr. Archibald Hart and Dr. Sylvia Hart Frejd. In part 1 of this three-part series, Dr. John will share how the wave of digital technology is changing us from within, physically, mentally, and especially spiritually, and he will offer some biblical strategies to become good stewards of our digital lives.
DID YOU KNOW
The following stats come from Brandwatch.com: https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/amazing-social-media-statistics-and-facts/
- For context, as of January 2019, the total world population is about 7.7 billion people.
- The internet has 4.2 billion users.
- There are about 3.4 billion active social media users.
- On average, people have 5.5 social media accounts.
- The average daily time spent on social media is 116 minutes a day.
- 91% of retail brands use 2 or more social media channels.
- 81% of all small and medium businesses use some kind of social platform.
- When asked 81% of teenagers felt social media has a positive effect on their lives.
WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT
Now that we’ve hopefully set the foundation for just how massive the digital invasion is, let’s peel back a few layers of the onion and get into what’s really going on behind those stats and numbers. There are four broad areas that are being affected by the digital invasion—physical, mental, relational, and spiritual.
Dr. John weighs in on the physical effects of the digital invasion, specifically the effects on our brains.
From The Digital Invasion: “Excessive digital use overloads the pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain that operates self-regulation. Because of this inability to self-regulate, we spend more time in our digital life. The more time spent in the digital world, the less ability we have to self-regulate.”
The book mentions a couple of mental or psychological disorders that also have popped up in the digital age—nomophobia and PCVD. Have you dealt with these or other similar disorders among your clients?
The third area affected by the digital invasion involves relationships. As Dr. Hart writes: “Digital engagement seems to be breaking down their sense of unity as a family. Many parents confessed they were as hooked on their computers and cell phones as their kids.” Dr. John talks about the negative effects too much technology can have on our families.
The more connected we are, the more disconnected we’ve become. Dr. Hart writes, “As a culture, it is assumed that we are more ‘connected’ today than we have ever been in history, but there is evidence to suggest that we are actually more disconnected than ever before. How we define ‘connection’ is very important. …The next generation is at great risk of not being able to cultivate deep and intimate relationships.” How should we define connection?
The spiritual implications of the digital invasion. The authors suggest that the digital invasion can harm a person’s ability to spend significant time in prayer, to meditate and reflect on Scripture, or to just pay attention to a deep sermon. Drawing on his experience as a former pastor, Dr. John the ways that the digital invasion is negatively affecting our spiritual lives.
Paul writes in Ephesians 5:15-17: “So be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don’t be fools; be wise: make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good. Don’t act thoughtlessly but try to find out and do whatever the Lord wants you to do.” How does this passage apply to intentional living in the digital world?
6 Biblical strategies for parents:
- Daily cultivate your God space.
- Maintain your integrity and self care, and lead from that posture.
- Live a connected life with your spouse and children.
- Receive God’s peace (the Serenity Prayer).
- Establish wise, healthy tech practices.
- Establish good digital boundaries, and model that to your kids.