|THE JOYFUL NOISE
Hello Friends in Christ!
We live in a time saturated with electronic media that inform, complement and challenge our daily lives. By the time you reach the age of 80, each of us will have watched, on average, a full 7years of television! That would be two full years of just advertising alone. Today, penetration of broadband into the home has reached 80 percent of American households. Many people have three or four TVs, several computers and smart phones. Many pastors no longer use a physical Bible; instead they rely on electronic versions and supports. There are many benefits to the new, digital world. We have more access to information than ever before, “Just Google it.” And we can stay connected to friends from long ago through social media like Facebook. We can shop, watch movies, and surf to our hearts content.
The downsides of the new digital world have been documented by many researchers and studies. Electronic addiction has become a real problem for some; a quarter of the population is addicted to television viewing. Cell phone addiction is also becoming a real problem, particularly among young people. For example, one night I walked to the post office near where I used to live and noticed a teen who was busily punching information into his smart phone. I knew the lad and asked him what he was up to. He looked up briefly and quickly said, “I am playing a game with the guy in that car,” as he pointed to a car parked at the curb and then continued with this activity. He wasn’t connecting in the old fashioned way; he was connecting electronically.
Studies say we are exposed to around 4,000 adverts in one form or another every day. Marketing and advertising are central voices and the main voice we hear is the voice of the salesperson. Our communication media are privately owned and are focused mainly on making money. Every year billions of dollars are spent on creating persuasive messages that will influence our behavior and take advantage of our weaknesses. Much of this advertising applies Freudian methods in creating messages that appeal to unconscious drives and impulses.
Neuroscientists confirm the fact that 80 percent of our decision-making is done without any conscious thought processing at all. So when you watch a car ad where the vehicle speeding through downtown streets in traffic is somehow able to avoid a collision you will ignore the fact that this could not actually happen in real life. The content of the ad does not make sense to the conscious mind but it doesn’t matter because the ad is directed to the fantasy world of the primitive brain. The speeding car communicates some form of freedom that you desire and suggests you can have that freedom by buying the vehicle.
We are bombarded by these messages and usually just ignore or consider them to be a nuisance. The reason for my bringing them up now is to try to awaken you to the dangers of these messengers and messages. I also want you to be careful in your media consumption.
Let me suggest a few things to consider. First, plan your television viewing and do not exceed the time you set for viewing in a day. Second, do not fall asleep to television. To do so is to make your subconscious mind vulnerable to harmful suggestions. Third, set a limit on how much online time you spend using media. Make sure and turn off electronic devices at meal times so you can be fully present for one another. Fourth, limit the amount of time children are allowed to use electronic media. Do not allow them unfettered access to cell phones or video games. In this regard, avoid “privatized” media environments where individuals can isolate in their consumption for long periods. Finally, become conscious of how your media consumption impacts your own life and thinking about the world. Try to notice what happens to your body when you watch TV. In doing these things you are becoming a more critical media consumer and you will be protecting your soul from corruption. Finally, a good thing to do in any area of life is to ask what Jesus would do. What would Jesus watch? What would he say about advertising? What would he say about our digital media?
We Christians are trying to live out the message of the Gospel, so we are called to live conscious lives where we use our moral reasoning to discern
right and wrong. We ask God for help in knowing what and how much to consume so we do not submit ourselves to unhealthy manipulation or messages. In doing so, we keep
our closeness to the Lord and stay on the path of righteousness and faithful living.
IN OUR THOUGHTS AND IN OUR PRAYERS:
Pastor’s scheduled weeks off
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
Rowann reported that box 58 was sent to the Master’s Community Church in Kansas City for
Carolyn reported that she is still having trouble getting people to sign up for all of the
We had no funerals this month. Ann C. and Carolyn F. are the co-chairs of that committee.
Kathy W. asked if anyone wanted to car pool over to Torrington for the UMW Friendship
Kathy reviewed the plans for a final meeting in May for this season, the Father’s Day Ice
All ladies of the church are invited to attend any of these events. We need all the help
2018 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
On Friday of Annual Conference, a group of people will be putting together kits for
Hygiene Kit Materials:
Thank you for your willingness to reach out and help those whose needs are greater than our own.
WE LOVE VOLUNTEERS
**Please remember to write down any meetings, gatherings, etc. on the calendar in the Fellowship Hall