Make no mistake – we are living in a generation that values that which is worthless and insignificant whilst despising what is truly important. Among the institutions and considerations that most devalue and waste is time.
Although time is something we all have a limited supply of and is irrecoverable when spent, most have been led to believe that they’ll have an endless supply of it and therefore misuse it. Alas, it isn’t until men have very little of it left that they become desperate to recuperate what they squandered.
When one considers how our generation wastes time, it is important to note that it does so in two manners: how much and on what.
Consider that the average American spends between 5-7 hours each day staring at a television screen and close to 5 hours a day interacting with their smartphones. (It’s evident that people overlap both activities – if they can be called activities.) Some studies suggest that most persons spend almost the same amount of time on electronic devices (8 hours and 41 minutes a day, on average) as they do sleeping (8 hours and 20 minutes, although one wonders how this can be if participants of the study reported using their cell phones for an extended period of time during the middle of the night after they were awakened by their phones).
When one ponders the fact that television programming is commercially crafted to be frivolous, scandalous, sensational, unrealistic, materialistic and immoral (including the 24-hour news cycle channels, which specialize on sensationalizing the trivial and omitting the truly relevant and substantive) and that this is what most of the developed world is consuming, it is necessary to conclude that the masses have turned themselves over to a system whose specialty is wasting precious time – and inculcating debauchery and irrationality while doing it.
The same principle applies as it pertains to most of what people are accessing on the internet through their smartphones and other portable devices. I say most because there are still uncorrupted corners of the Web where independent, rational, truth-seeking voices loudly declaim and have acquired an audience willing to listen to them (although this reality is constantly being threatened by corporate entities like Google, Facebook and Twitter).
The social ramifications of this sort of behavior are more than evident.
Think upon how inclined our society has become to support immoral ideas such as socialism and so-called homosexual marriage. Broken families and out-of-wedlock births have skyrocketed, as well as opioid and heroin consumption. How can one explain this dilapidation in the midst of one of the most affluent nations on the earth, other than to blame the culprits, the entities which seek to normalize dissolution and those that consume it in the ways it is dispersed – television and social networks?
Therefore, one’s time is assaulted by it being wasted on the indulgence of assorted sins.
Now, only a lunatic would understand what the problem is, admit to falling prey to the problem and insist on continuing to behave in the same manner. This is the reaction I typically encounter when speaking to many Christians on the subject. After I implore them to redeem their time and use it wisely, many nod their heads in supposed agreement and then immediately proceed to engross themselves in their Facebook accounts for hours on end, without any rationale for doing so or edification in sight.
Dear reader, it is imperative to make an honest assessment about how you employ time. If you are part of the massive group of people who are “connected” almost every waking hour to popular entertainment, 24-hour news cycles and the incessant preaching of consumerism, a change is in order. Ask yourself the following question: What have you received as a return on your investment? All that time spent exploring social media, email and television programming and nothing to show for it.
Make better use of your time. Read the Bible and search for substantive and informative books written by reputable authors. Eat dinner at the dinner table with family and forego any interaction with your smartphone or television while you do so. Intermingle physically with family members and friends instead of doing so through digital mediums. Parents, separate your children from the wretched screens that have overtaken their minds and make them reconnect with the real world in which their own inherent creativity can be developed.
Bored? That’s a good thing. Play board games which incite critical thinking skills and write personal notes in a journal. Use that boredom to your advantage by finding creative solutions to release that boredom. Start a business, engage in fruitful conversation, learn a new trade, attend a Classical Music concert and lectures, etc.
Remember, you’re investing time in spiritual and personal maturity, in deepening intimate and meaningful relationships and increasing knowledge and wisdom. Better than rotting away all your years and faculties before a dreaded screen.