Skip to content

Screen Culture, Part 1 – Brain Function

July 28, 2019

Holding a cell phone, Author, Source (CC Attribution 2.0 Generic)

“Stare into the Lights My Pretties” is an insightful and disturbing documentary about the impact computer technology has had on our culture. 

The film, which was written and directed by Jordan Brown, can be viewed online at  The topics it covers are discussed in this series, along with their spiritual implications.

“What the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation.  Whether I’m online or not, my mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it:  in a swiftly moving stream of particles.  Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words.  Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.”

-Nicholas G. Carr, The Shallows:  What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (2010)

Memory and Concentration

The speed of communication, the multi-tasking, the constant bombardment by stimuli associated with computer and cell phone use erode not only our attention span and concentration, but our memory and thought processing.

We are less able to distinguish between what is relevant and irrelevant, less able to absorb and retain information.  This leaves us permanently distracted.

Superficial Thinking

While it is true that video games can increase what is termed “fluid intelligence” (the ability to think rapidly), they do not increase genuine knowledge.  Nor do they increase our empathy; improve our ability to understand complex issues; or enhance our capacity to generalize and draw conclusions.

The result is superficial thinking.  We are no longer able to consider serious subjects for the length of time required or recognize their larger implications.


How we spend our time matters.  That brings us to prayer.

Time spent in prayer reconnects us with God, strengthening our relationship with Him.  “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).  Prayer centers our lives, putting the affairs of the world in proper perspective.

When we select entertainment and diversion over prayer, we are cheating ourselves.  Worse than that, we are cheating God.

This series continues next week with Part 2 – A Focus on Self


  1. So true, Anna. I am going to watch the documentary.

  2. This is such an important post Anna, thank you!

  3. garvit1910 permalink

    wow! very inspiring and truthful. spending time with god is an important thing. many people just pray to the god for the sake of it, however the real power is when you pray to the god with all your attention.

  4. pOwerful documentary, Anna 🙏
    We all need to just put the internet down and step away, once in a while!
    At least for 2 hours watching, I did do a bit of multi-tasking and finished
    knitting the heart-shaped dishcloth on my needles 😎💜 Jackie@KWH

    • We are losing contact w/ the real world, Jackie. Virtual reality is taking precedence, much to our detriment. ❤

  5. I agree, not only to agree but because I feel and notice the effects. We need to be cautious and also mindful of the effects. The internet is not all ‘bad’ but time for us, to be able to reflect, to retreat, to share and to connect truly to ohters can make us grow and provide us with another kind of information than the net does. It doesn’t only touch on an individual level but our society as a whole. Thank you for bringing this post to my attention.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: