Finals week is approaching and many of us are turning in projects and doing final edits of term papers. Higher stress levels lead students to want a break from the ever-growing pile of homework and assignments. In the midst of the noise of life, social media brings even more clutter into our minds. In the recent case of Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, the data scientist spoke out for the safety of Facebook’s users. Through her research, she found that Facebook in particular knew that the social platform had a negative impact on the mental health of youth and teens yet still they continued to push the product out to the public. The use of technology has become integrated within the very routine and nature of our lives, and it’s dangerous how connected we have become; for example, if you use your phone as an alarm clock, it’s the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night.
In a world where time equals money, our attention spans have decreased, and our time is a rare commodity that we give other people. We give our attention to what distracts us and what is most appealing in our eyes at the moment. We want to be new and continuously updated, trying to recreate ourselves just like the latest iPhone. Although we often don’t like to admit it, a glance at a phone to answer a text or email can lead to endless amounts of mindless scrolling as we lose ourselves in the feeling of connection. When we have free time, all too often we throw away solitude and quiet for distraction and business to fill our minds. Yet with all of these “connections,” we still find ourselves in loneliness.
Throughout this December issue, you will see all the different ways that we as Christians can serve our communities and build relationships away from the screens and shiny pixels. I would encourage you to step away from the world of social media and see the beauty in the minute details of life as we return to our families and spend time with loved ones. Serve others even in the smallest of ways by giving them your full attention and quality time. Service is not always going to a foreign country to do ministry, but rather it often looks like each of us using our unique gifts and abilities to serve those around us.
1 Peter 4:10
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”