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Antisocial Media and Digital Pharmakeia

Scott Ritsema


It goes without saying - media use is out of control and may be the single biggest stumbling block in spiritual, social and family life today. Which begs the question: what does the latest research say about the stranglehold of 'big tech' upon our lives and how to break free? What are the essential biblical principles for establishing a balanced use of technological tools? And how can we truly restore spirituality and relationships in the digital age?


Scott Ritsema

Founder and Speaker for Belt of Truth Ministries


  • January 2, 2020
    10:45 AM
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This message was presented at the g y c conference by many or by few in Louisville Kentucky for other resources like this visit us online. Or. Was for. Father in heaven we thank you so much for this time together to continue to explore your will for us in our media use and we just ask for your voice to be heard for a speaker's thoughts are our own opinions to be set aside and we just want to know that I will please give us information and beyond that transformation and decision in Jesus' name we pray Amen All right so this session is called anti social media and digital pharmacopoeia Now before I talk about anti social media I would like to talk about true social Here you have Hebrews 10 verse 25 it says Do Not Forsake meeting together as Sembilan together as some are in the custom of doing do not neglect assembling together do you know what the word assembling is in the Greek it's to church the word church in Greek is the assembly the gathering together so right now you could say this is church going on it's not the divine service it's not the Sabbath but church is the people of God Church is not a building the building is the meeting house so part of God's design for our social experience not to mention the worship experience that we do commit to on observing the Sabbath of the 4th Commandment and on obeying that injunction and Hebrews 1029 that says Don't neglect assembling but one of the benefits is the social that we gain out of being the people of God I love the fact that you guys are here and I see look at this the Top 21 health benefits of church attendance because when we're loving one another and we're connecting we're loving and being loved it has physiological mental and of course the most important the spiritual benefits when we do it God's way worship. Is good for your health Vanderbilt study are finding support the overall hypothesis that increased religiousness as determined by attendance at worship services is associated with less stress and enhanced longevity the professor who did this study specifically your twice is likely to die over a 10 year period of time if you don't attend church than if you do numerous empirical studies show that religious involvement is associated with better health and longer life expectancies and you're like how is that possible such a drastic increase chances will look at all the benefits I'm not going to read them all and go through them all but it has immense impact when we are plugged in socially they talk about what that with the elderly you know and expanding their lifespan and health and longevity how important the social connection is so if the ultimate aim of the Christian life is what Jesus said to love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourself then this thing about loving our neighbor is huge and having love by the way means being other centered right it's not centered on self but upon God and upon those around us and we now have the Narcissism Epidemic Gene 20 points out in your famous book in 2012 showing that this generation was also already the young adults already at that point the most narcissistic generation ever recorded narcissists meaning self self centered now I don't think using the camera on a phone is evil I just took a selfie with an old friend here but did you know that the average millennial will take 25000 selfies during their lifetime that's an awful lot right and I got to take a 100 just to get the photo just right for my Instagram and you know get the lip purse or whatever it's like and then I'm going to go through one of his then 45 minutes trying to get the photo right it's like that at some point this is very good. Access narcissism whatever you want to call it write 25000 selfies for the average millennial and there's a growing number of selfie wrist injury is diagnosed by doctors selfie Ruth injury I never thought I'd see the day by the way I have to make a slide out of this or I forget to do it got a sign in sheet for those who are just coming in that was the reason I asked so many of you are here because I want to get your get you guys in touch so please get on the newsletter there with the sign in sheet we'll keep you posted keep you updated speaking of this more than 21200000 teens had plastic surgery last year and social media had a lot to do with 820-0000 doctors wrote Rick and Cho of the American Society of Plastic Surgeon stated the demand for plastic surgery in adolescence has increased dramatically what is going on there well it's insecurity isn't it here you have social media addicts are more likely to feel inadequate when it comes to their careers and their looks feelings of inadequacy feelings of low self-worth insecurity Now you might say but Scott didn't you say it was narcissism which is it aren't these opposites narcissism says I'm the greatest insecurity says I am worthless aren't these opposites No they're 2 sides of the same coin of self being thinking of Welling upon self how great I am or how horrible I am Satan wants to get us into one of those 2 pitfalls if he can get us into the I I will ascend I will be above others like he did in 14 I'm going to be in the position of God Eve You will be like God He wants us in self promotion or he's the accuser sometimes for us as any and we mess up and he's like you did it again and God couldn't possibly forgiving. You're such a rotten sitter you know what Ellen White wrote about that she says when Satan comes to you is says you're just a sinner say save back to him Well Jesus came to save sinners There you go Right I mean his name means salvation Jesus Yeah our ways salvation as his very name for he shall save his people from their sins so don't let the accuser come and beat you down like that the media mind does become insecure self loathing or narcissistic but the mind of Christ secure and Christ how do we develop that security in Christ we have to ask what is your worth what is the worth of a human soul how is it valued how is it measured Well I'll tell you how it's measured this is mind boggling to me I cannot conceive and understand this in my little human brain I have to take it on faith and just let my brain explode when I hear this the Son of God the divine Son of God came to this earth to die in my place saying you your soul your life your eternal life is worth more to me than my own life I will die in your place and you're going wait a minute no there's no way I I am not the same value as the divine Son of God the Eternal One that that can't be and yes Jesus is above us on the totem pole so to speak but this is the mind of Christ that he made himself nothing made himself into the form of a servant took on human nature and became obedient to death even death on the cross to pay for our sins to redeem us and to prove once and for all that he loves us enough while we were still sinners Christ died for us he loves his enemies the Bible says this is the father is kind to the wicked That's unbelievable to me that when Jesus was baptized and the father said to him this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased yes he is the Son of God But get this. Jesus was not ashamed to call us what brethren it says in Hebrews Jesus was not ashamed to call us Brother and we've been adopted into the family of God and we call his father father so he was not ashamed to call us brethren he is in the human race now the elder brother of the human race if you will and the perfect Son of God who was tempted in every point just as we are overcame and now by His grace and power in our lives we overcome now in the desire of ages it says that when Jesus was baptized in the Father spoke those words it says those same words are applied to us so the father says to me you are my beloved son he says to you you are my beloved daughter and whom I am well pleased the same words he said to Jesus impossible Jesus lived a perfect life I am a sinner how could he say those words to me listen Jesus righteousness when we repent and come to him in confession of heart his righteousness is applied to us and so the father looks at us and says I'm well pleased in you you have perfect righteousness and we can walk in newness of life and be transformed and renewed of our minds and grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and he says I love you in the same words I gave to Jesus I give to you so if we're ever in doubt because the accuser is coming along and we feel low self-worth in any area in our lives because you know what this social media thing Satan loves to to target people he loves to play upon their vulnerabilities did you know that the founding president of Facebook Sean Parker along with Mark Zuckerberg there at the very beginning he said We designed this platform to exploit Here's a quote we were exploiting vulnerabilities in human psychology. And then Facebook was busted with some leaked documents out of Australia where they were caught bragging to advertisers saying we're able to read and interpret the emotional state of our young users and identify when they're in especially a vulnerable state emotionally and that's where you can target them with their with your advertisements that is diabolical isn't it I mean why wasn't this global news for the next month I don't know but that's pretty nasty stuff and he was it by the way Sean Parker was kind of apologizing he went on this apology tour it is easy speaking for for in interviews and saying we were exploiting vulnerabilities and human psychology more about that in a minute Jeanne 20 author of I Jen points out that beginning in 2010 to 12 around the time of ubiquitous smart phone use and social media use feelings of low self-worth and young people skyrocketed like never before Will why because of this very thing and we'll talk more about that issue but empathy when we're talking about loving others that's been others centered right thinking about other people's feelings and thoughts and benefit their best interests the Bible says that in the last days the love of many will wax cold the love of most will will grow cold in the last days and this is love 40 percent drop in empathy in young people in this millennium and the authors of that study linked it to you just social media use and video game use and be making that your social life if you miss the mark the 1st session this morning there's a loneliness epidemic was the surgeon general's phrase for it and cutting back on social media reduces loneliness massively and studies if you eliminate it it reduces loneliness for college students 36 percent and so people are really struggling with that as well the authors of this study said people are doing their socializing online and hence are losing empathy for. Real people in their lives and even of even extends to the simple presence of a phone just having the phone sitting there in a social engagement even if you're not using it in this study they said Ok nobody's touching their phone but set the phone on the table another group they had in a different room and a control group would just throw a notebook on your table and have a conversation get to know this person and then after the conversation was over they scored the quality of the bonds that people formed you know interest in the other curiosity about them you know would you want to hang out with them that kind of thing and they found that people had the phone just sitting there not even being used had a lower quality social bonds than those who just had a notebook sitting there so we can sum that up with the media mind is cold but the mind of Christ is caring and it's this cold this headline doesn't sum it up very well let me give you the actual data from the Wall Street Journal report on a study that 2 thirds 2 thirds of teens when asked would you rather just chat with your friends on line text them snap chat them whatever or get together and be together in person 2 thirds of them said oh I don't need to get together with my friends I'll just chat this is so mind boggling to me like maybe that's I shouldn't be so blown away by that because this is super normal but it's not normal I'm not going to accept that we've got to get together when 2 thirds in a certain evil of course about you know a text message of that goes without saying but when we're doing 4 times more social media then social for every one hour we're with people we're doing 4 hours of on line social contact This is getting way out of balance and it's the reason we have a loneliness epidemic and it's also the reason a former Facebook executive said I feel tremendous guilt for what I helped to make so I feel tremendous guilt is a must. He came out and said We are literally creating tools that are destroying the social fabric of how society works is if we are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works the media mind is disconnected the mind of Christ is affectionate true affection true empathy true love I contact all of it that's how real communication works by the way. Real communication includes more than just words it includes nonverbal cues countless non-verbal aspects of communication from the eye contact to the facial expressions to the vocal tone to the proximity how close we are one to the other 2 handed bodily gestures to vocal tones to everything I mean it's all kinds of things that are a part of human communication that are non verbal real communication also involves a merging of the emotion in the moment when you text somebody there is not the immediacy of I'm in your presence and I see your response to my comment so for example somebody shares you know a pain a sorrow or something bad this happened last week or whatever and your face kind of falls with them in your posture and you get a little closer maybe if you're you put your arm around there or whatever it might be immediately in the moment there's a merging of the emotion or the positive thing like I just went on the best hike it was so great and your face lights up right as they're talking and then you're immediately responding with words to instead of waiting you know 45 minutes of the text comes back or whatever there's a merging of the emotion in the moment so let's not miss out on the joy and the benefits of real communication in while we're using these tools as well another thing about the real communication Thirdly is the greeting in the goodbye moment is where you come into the common space that you shared together new knowledge the other person yet you matter to me right I'm going to say hello and shake the hand or do the hug or whatever greet each other with a holy kiss in the bible times it was and so so there's an injunction to to acknowledge the other and honor them as you matter to me I'm going to look at you and Will will one now occupy this common space together for whatever period of time the a lot of the eyelid social contact would be and the goodbye moment as well I mean acknowledge you and say the goodbye in some in some way and different cultures do these different ways but the cool thing about the real space I was thinking about this this this phone. This device is just a few inches by a few inches in size right it's very small but they have names for the on line called cyber space the information superhighway and there's all these like awesome sounding pitch a sales pitch for going on line and when I get on there it's like an abundance of social I mention this morning the 1st session this were the most socially connected generation in history so we've been told because I got hundreds of friends on there I got all kinds of contacts coming in and it's this incredible amazing thing in the virtual time of this is a few inches gods 3 dimensional space is expansive it's real it's big it's vibrant it's multi-dimensional in terms of everything the sights the smells the sounds the touch and when I when I had a one of my children he was 7 at the time he walked up to me and there was this pallet sitting there you know wooden pallet and it was leaned up against the wood burner at our house in the country where we live and he goes Dad can I destroy that pallet and I'm like yes that's a great question for a boy that Dad can I destroy that pallet when I saw him take his little boy axe and start swinging into that thing in the bits that fly and he spends a lot of time on it and I'm cheering him on and he goes Dad he's done with it goes Dad can I can I see you split some wood again he loves watching that thing I mean that's just the sights in the sounds of the real in the relationship in the high fives and nothing can replace that and I just it's kind of a weird example maybe but to me it just spoke to my heart at that point and that moment in my kids live in my day and where I was thinking and I'm like praise God for the real and you pick your thing this relationship's paths you know real things nature it's way way way way way way way better then the on line. Variant of anything and that's not to say media is evil or screens or evil or taxing is evil if you missed the early part 844 was the launch of the birth of modern media with the telegraph because God wants to get the truth out so use social media use media in our D.V.D.'s of course right now satellite media is airing my seminars I love that that we can get the truth out so so just a word of balance on that but if you ask me to have to choose right the i reality versus God's reality in the 3 dimensional I'll take this one any day Satan had his own I reality didn't. Kind of a coincidence interesting thing but I was looking at studies on sociological family dynamics and the Hi I'm home but that has been a feature of American culture for generations where you know in this fall and world Adam leaves the nest in many cases and goes and earns a living and and then comes back when that when you have that reuniting moment it's beautiful it's wonderful it's positive right the kids come around and you have big hugs and whatever well did you know that today only 50 percent of dads greet their families when they come home what only half what are they doing well only one 3rd of moms are looking are stopping what they're doing to greet their husbands when they come in from work. Children rarely greet their fathers and half the time the family members don't even look up for a 2nd to acknowledge his presence so with the breakdown in relationships friendships family church attendance all of it is you know that the majority of Anglicans now engage in the liturgy in church things on line and the tipping point has happened like it's nothing wrong with doing audio verse and all that that's awesome that's awesome but let us not give up let us not neglect here is 1025 assembling together so when we start replacing the real with the virtual for everything here's one of the consequences for young people especially when their vulnerabilities are played upon and bullying is happening on line after holding steady for decades immediately after the advent of social media teen suicide rose by 70 percent in just 10 years among age 10 to 14 the rate went up 133 percent and among 12 to 14 year old girls suicide up 3 fold. What Just Happened 3 fold increase in suicide among young girls aged 12 to 14 I mean why is this not on Headline News every night I mean this is a massive If the loneliness epidemic is worthy of that term this is massive you know convergence of the ultimate crises you've ever thought of 133 percent increase in suicide for 10 to 14 year olds 70 percent for teens 133 percent for 10 I'd never thought I would see these kinds of numbers we would be alarmed if we saw like a 20 percent increase or something that's 133 percent increase 20 says that the screen time for adolescence impacts their mental health even more than it impacts the mental health of younger children why are more American teenagers suffering from severe anxiety Americans Psychological Association survey shows shows teen stress rivals that adults this study showed a 60 percent jump in depression among teens in just a 6 year period of time and you might say Well mental health consultations and diagnoses are more accepted or more more welcomed and encouraged and so the numbers are no these were studies that were done across the population in general using the diagnostic criteria that the psychiatry it's use but asking it across the board in the general population so these aren't people who are seeking mental health assistance this is a 60 percent rise in people who would qualify for the major depression if they were going to seek diagnoses so it's a massive leap 60 percent so what Dr Carr Doris says here I've worked with over a 1000 teens in the past 15 years and have observed that students who have been raised on a high tech diet not only appear to struggle more with attention and focus but also seem to suffer more suffer from an adolescent Malays that appears to be a direct byproduct of their digital immersion indeed over $200.00 peer reviewed studies point too. Screen time correlating to increased a.d.h. d. screen addiction We'll talk about that a minute increased aggression we talked about a.d.h. the aggression in the previous session also depression anxiety even psychosis 200 peer reviewed studies what more do we need. Here's Sean Parker again he says God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains you can hear the regret in his heart as he's looking back on the consequences of so much social media for so many people at such ages as these younger kids we were talking about in the previous slide there was a massive study of half a 1000000 teens it found the more social media the more mental health problems across the board so the media mind becomes dysfunctional but the mind of Christ we can take hope and heart that God has a plan to restore to redeem to renew to transform the mind of Christ is balanced and well now it's not just teens more research says Facebook can cause depression this time among Millennium Goals mental health issues increased significantly in young adults over the last decade and of course it's not just Facebook it's the so much on line social where you now have a 2.7 times increased likelihood if you're a college student 2.7 times more likely to be depressed if you're a heavy social media user than if you use very little Also college campus mental health professionals you ask them how are things going in the counseling office they're like we're inundated we can't handle it all one in 4 college students is now diagnosed with a mental health disorder one in 4 and so the media mind is becoming stressed anxious and depressed but the mind of Christ take a deep breath content joyful peaceful because once 2 studies University of Pennsylvania and done Mark studies found that when you reduce Osho media use to 30 minutes a day or you eliminate it all together in the case of the Denmark study depression rates drop dramatically 33 percent drop in depression in one week of no social media and the Denmark study. We also saw this morning same study found a 36 percent drop in loneliness when you go one week without social media you see drops also in that study when you reduce it to 30 minutes per day and I should mention that this is not equally distributed among the population some people are having greater mental health damages and effects there are others and when they dug into the demographics in the type personality types a little bit they find that when people have feelings and thoughts like these on the screen they're more likely to be harmed by social media use so people who feel many of my friends are happier than me sometimes you have the feeling I often feel inferior to others sometimes you have the feeling my friends are have a better life than me those are that's a profile of somebody who's a good candidate for getting off of social media because there is much greater harm there and that's not to condemn social media when we say for what purposes on this list of questions we're kind of going through touching on a few of those today what purposes are we using the media for we want to always have an intentionality a spiritual purpose a meaning for Hopefully it's not our social life but it can enhance it can a can you know augment our real social life to connect with somebody no sin in that but hopefully it's not replacing our social life like 4 to one and hopefully as a spiritual purpose my wife and I talked to a mother a while ago and by the way those questions my wife happened to say that's me and she gave up social media completely for her that was the right choice and she's the way happier and she's like it's a much of a benefit in my life she's spoken on this publicly it's on this one here called Rem rising if you want to hear a little bit the only time that life appears on any of my 7 hours disc disc 2 of that one was very very pleased that she joined me on the. Form for that session but she shares her story and media use and she said you know what honey lock me out change my password I'm going take a 30 day for social media fast I say Ok I'll do that and she's a bass were and at the end of 30 days she's like I have more time I'm way happier everything's just better and you know I was addicted to it and we'll talk about addiction in just a 2nd but so for what purposes we talk to this other mother we're like how do you do it and the other young adult and she's like well I got a little daughter and the with the way I do it is I use this as a ministry outlet I really want to encourage people pray for people share a Bible verse and she says there's at what times of the day here's what duration of use she says I have a max of 30 minutes and I go on there and her time of the day to do is in the morning she says I have a set place that would be these questions on what types of devices that what locations this can follow us everywhere and notify us every 2nd of the day right and it can take over our lives when it's on our mobile devices and all the notifications are on and we have all the social media apps then it is in charge of me and all the sudden I'm not in control of my use of the technology so she's like Ok I go to my computer 30 minutes a day in the morning if if the morning has worked out in the little girls in a way and you've done your devotions and planned the day and all of that so she doesn't go out every day it's just a few examples of some people have taken some more you might say extreme stance but if we're seeing extreme mental health problems maybe extreme situations call for extreme measures early start trial you know a 3 week or a 7 day or a one month fast from these things we talked about having different set of lenses to look at life through and when you go to the optometrist maybe you didn't know that you're receiving blurry because it was minor but you do look at it through a new suit set of lenses and you see clearly see more clearly and you didn't even know that you could use a new set of lenses Now speaking of this issue of of the use this is Gene 20 she speaks of how this in her book. This generation of young people she calls them quote totally unprepared for adulthood 18 year olds now act like 15 year olds used to and she's not namecalling trying to be mean she's just looking at how we live our lives and there's been an Arrested Development 13 year olds act like 10 year olds used to the media mind is in a state of arrested development but the mind of Christ is maturing properly and this starts from an early age by the way this is preschoolers or kindergarteners going to school children are not toilet trained when they start school in the study in the u.k. 2 thirds of teachers said these little kids 2 thirds of them said they have no self-help skills they know how to swipe a phone but don't have a clue about much anything else and then you see children learn to tie shoelaces later than ever before and kids use tech so much they can't hold a pencil anymore and study says kids understand smartphones better than real life so when we're inducting our children from babyhood in the i Pad activity seat for newborns and in the i Pod a that we saw in the last session yes there's such a thing as an i Pod and we hamper their development in major ways and not just with fine motor skills because it's hard to tie your shoelaces when you're 7 I get it but this this thing is gross motor skills and core muscles and big movements are struggling for the children and playground injuries have increased now that made me scratch my head and crinkle my forehead a little bit with a puzzled look saying hold on playgrounds are ways safer than they used to be right the images you see on the screen I mean it used to be that they had fun as the main operative goal in mind when they designed playgrounds today the operative word would be safety 1st and there's nothing wrong with that we want safety but wait a minute if the playground designs today are significantly safer than they were when kids were swinging around that with their legs behind them through the air and climbing that going down on their feet on a frosty morning in. Michigan like I did in the eighty's why are playground playground injuries increasing is because we're not we're only navigating the virtual world and we're not playing as much as we used to with the little children speaking of the little children we moved up then into it in the medical students raised on screens lack skills for surgery the Guardian reported Roger Kneebone appropriate name for a surgical professor at Imperial College London said that a decline in hands on creative subjects at school and leave no hands on stuff no hands on hobbies at home means that students often do not have a basic understanding of the physical world is like we're having a hard time finding quality candidates for our surgical programs medical programs pilot programs we used to hear that video gaming will produce the best surgeons and the best pilots the world has ever seen we already covered the best drivers on the road and it reduces executive function and frustration tolerance and it makes you more likely to lash out and have outbursts and but doing so much media reduces frontal lobe and that increases the likelihood for aggressive driving that was a session you missed but you also need a good prefrontal cortex for self-discipline for study in medical school right and you have a generation raised with so much entertainment and we were reduced executive function it is a struggle for many of these young people and same thing with the with the pilots survive the rigorous course of study that they put you through with that but they said hey there navigating a 3 dimensional world in the give any oh game so they're going to be great at all these things I talked to a mechanics Professor auto mechanics teacher at a high school just anecdotally I said How are your kids doing these days we've seen a change in the last 20 years he goes have a high in the ninety's I would get the majority of my kids competent in auto mechanics by the end of the semester by the end of the year today I'm lucky to get 12 to 15 percent of them and it's a major major struggle. And so when you read from Dr Maggie Jackson in her book distracted she nails it she says video games teach the kinds of skills useful for playing more video games and not much more so yeah when you get the rehab for gaming addicts in Seattle and you ask the founder of this how are these young adult men doing mostly men and she says you wouldn't believe if they could they come in checking into this rehab program to recover from their video game addiction you'd be shocked how many of them don't know how to clean a bathroom don't know how to make breakfast basic basic basic like 8 year old why 8 year old age life skills that you're learning as a child they don't have that 25 unbelievable that we were missing out so much that by the way I covered that in media on the brain in the demise of guys this was disc 5 demise of guys video gaming and pornography addiction but it got even worse after I did that in 2016 were you know we got great employment you know good good economic activity a quarter of young adult males were not working I don't know what the latest numbers are is probably not a lot different from that a full quarter when unemployment is like 4 percent a full quarter 25 percent of young adult men not working the media mind is lacking practical skills the mind of Christ well rounded Now back to that Arrested Development the percentage of teens that have a job has been cut in half the average teen now gets less exercise than the average 60 year old they're studying less they do less volunteer work they do fewer extracurricular activities and they're getting their driver's licenses later than ever before so you're like wait a minute Scott what are we doing with all our time if we're doing less of everything well I left one thing off didn't I media use that one has skyrocketed to 9 hours a day so life declining media everything online using so much entertainment videogames and everything increasing dramatically. Which by the way there's a silver lining in this I don't really mind this one because when I was 16 I was like getting my driver's license the day of all my buddies like we went out and got in trouble and so there's a silver lining that promiscuity is down with teens alcohol consumption is down and there's some some some positive I guess you could say benefits but it would be a real benefit if we were doing something much better with our time than just going on line just becoming videogame Maddux and when you're on line so much you lose your individual thinking capacity and you start eating i Pods remember this 2017 the tide Pod eating craze it went viral people are like I am going to eat laundry detergent to one. Now I sometimes feel like I'm living in a distro pick futuristic novel that somebody would have dreamed up doing 50 years ago or 20 years ago even like imagine in the near future. Little babies will be inducted into a virtual world from the i Pad activity see them will learn to use the potty on something called an I party and people will be on their devices so much that they'll develop forward head posture permanently like they're walking into the street and we'll need to move the stop lights from being up at eye level to down at curb level because human beings now live down here and as children develop injuries will increase and they will not be playing on playgrounds and then the Thai baht eating craze will occur among youth and we will have it to the point where we are losing our vision and our sight from so much screen time and you could go on and on with this right and the loneliness epidemic and people spent 4 times more I could just go through the whole seminar last like 2 hours but I was all you know all these strange things cuddling with strangers crazy a chair that hugs you back or I can't even think of it remember at all you couldn't make this stuff up 20 years ago if you like this is what's going to happen if you like that's ridiculous and that's the world we live in I know it's ridiculous but you know Revelation 13 is going to be fulfilled and Satan is going to have the whole world wonders after the Beast How does he get that level of deception happening when people have an attention span that's 8 seconds and we're not thinking critically which you know takes 15 to 20 minutes a 1000 seconds for that creative individual problem solving thought to take place as we saw in the previous session you're not going to be able to discern deception from reality from truth in this generation where people are eating and people fell for this to remember this one you all know this happens if you microwave for oil for 3 minutes people balled up their tin foil put it in the microwave 3 minutes paper turned it on because somebody on Twitter did a practical joke on them and people are that dumb Oh we are struggling in this culture and people went and posted hey it didn't work for me it was sparking inflaming it it was acting crazy and the prankster goes Are you sure you did it for 3 minutes try it again and they're like Ok. I think all alone it's no wonder that people are going to believe a boy an obvious deception let's just take the 4th commandment right the counterfeit Sabbath you got the whole world wonders after the beast and the social media generation has the herd mentality whatever's trendy whatever I'm supposed to act like I'm following that instead of following the lamb wherever he goes I'm going to follow the crowd what does the Bible say don't follow the crowd into doing evil don't follow a crowd in this deception don't follow the crowd into being conformed to this world be transformed by the renewing of your mind now another thing that I thought this belongs in the fictitious novel of 20 years ago that was never written which describes our day did you know Neil Postman actually predicted this he said in his book The disappearance of childhood 3040 years ago he wrote We're going to witness the disappearance of childhood because of so much media and children watching t.v. and glued to the screens and video games were coming in he sounded the alarm in people's like people were like that's alarmist hyperbole no it was prophetic if anything not literally but very very very cognizant of him to notice what was coming down the pike because today 3 quarters of u.k. children this would be similar in the United States spend less time outdoors then prison inmates spend outdoors we are so nature deprived Richard Lugar calls it nature deficit disorder. Our children all of us have a deficit of nature exposure in this book he also says he points out studies that have been done of children in nature and how the majority of 11 year olds when they're asked about their time in nature the majority of them admit that they have never climbed a tree before you like what did you just say Scott Yeah add that to the crazy list of insanity. I potties and all of this the majority of 11 year olds have never climbed a tree did you ever think you would see the day this is the last days isn't it they asked these children who had climbed a tree hey what do you think about it when you were up there did you like it a 3rd of them only. A 3rd of them or said I would want to go to the park only a 3rd of them and the majority of those who had climbed the tree said I was thinking about actually getting in and doing my video games and it wasn't really fun I don't didn't really do it again that's address so when you read from Dr Nicholas Carr Doris kids raised with screens were almost universally what I like to call an interested and an interesting board and boring they lacked a natural curiosity in a sense of wonder and imagination that non screen kids seemed to have they didn't know or care to know about what was happening around them in the world all that seemed to drive them was a perpetual need to be stimulated and entertained by their digital devices we can sum that up with the media mind is bored and boring the mind of Christ is curious and inquisitive and hungers and thirsts for knowledge the media mind is immersed in the counterfeit reality the mind of Christ is awake to the wonders of God's reality how to be human again the media mind is enclosed in a virtual prison 3 quarters of them more time and less 3 quarters of kids spend less time outdoors and prison inmates too but the mind of Christ is fully alive now the manipulation that is taking place was exposed by Charmouth once again the former Facebook executive he said not only is it ripping apart the social fabric of how society works but you don't realize it but you are being programmed Whoa that's heavy stuff from a former executive I thought I was just on line and just doing my own thing and I'm my own person you are being programmed a few examples of the guy that invented the like button he says we've messed with people's dopamine so badly because they want the approval. They want to like he says I regret making it because it's just people self-worth and all of that he says I've taken the social media apps off my phone completely because I know I would dictate of this can become and I'll use certain social media was certain people intentionally at a stationary location not on my computer he says Snap Chat for me is digital heroin This is the man who invented the pull down to refresh function he says this if they ask him Is this kind of like a slot machine where you pull it down and then it circles and thinks about it and thinks about and things about it and then being given to being all the messages light up he's like Yup that's exactly what it is and he says why do they even keep the function that I invented data speeds are so fast it can auto refresh you don't need to do the little ritual of pulling it down well that would defeat the purpose of getting the dopamine rush because when you don't know if you're going to get the messages when you don't know if you're going to get the teaching teaching teaching in the casino that increases the dopamine hit 400 percent I call it variable rewards if you know you got the reward you get a little bit of a head of dopamine and pleasure but if you don't know whether you're going to get the reward that increases at 400 percent by the way Sean Parker founding president of Facebook also said we we designed it to give him a little dopamine hit right at the right time to keep them on the platform longer so he's using addiction language there and again he's apologizing for it I'm not trying to be hard on the eyes these guys he's confessing if you will apologizing where he says the inventors the creators of social media it's me it's Mark Zuckerberg Kevin Systrom on Instagram is all of these people understood this consciously and we did it anyway he says shame on us so we've got to use these tools aware if we're going to use these tools some people can just get off completely and have a very happy life but it's got to be aware that there is an effort to program people he admitted we are handicapping people's ability to self regulate give him a little dopamine here and we knew what we were doing consciously and we did it anyway this is the inventor of a smartphone game called flappy bird he was making $50000.00 a day he saw how many people were downloading the app using the game wasting hours of their time millions of people tens of millions of man hours being wasted people's lives being messed up from a silly little game is not that worldly right it's not bad. We have to redeem the time for the days are evil time is short what are we doing play video games he even had was convicted he wasn't looking at it through like you know prophecy lands but he felt guilty he pulled the smartphone game from the App Store and said I'm not going to have that on my conscience any more and other people created knockoff games and walked away with the cash but this guy walked away with his integrity the study of more than $408.00 and 11th graders found that many teenage texters had a lot in common with compulsive gamblers including losing sleep because of texting problems cutting back on texting and lying to cover up the amount of time they spent texting and again these are tools you hold the smartphone in your hand in 2007 you're like I'm in the driver's seat this is a tool in my hands I am in control fast forward 12 years and the tables have turned the little smartphone man is holding the little guy in his hand It's as if it is using us not us using it this is James Williams he created one of the most important advertising metrics in the history of the Internet he was working for Google one day he looked at the display on the screens of all of the the fancy data and stats of where traffic was going and how his manipulative methods had directed people to things and he saw that's a 1000000 people he called people over look at this data point that's a 1000000 people that we just caused to do something right there in the last however many minutes it wasn't in their best interest to do that we manipulated them or wasn't even their choice he felt a pang of conscience and now he's come out with all these other people speaking out against the largest most standardised and most centralized form of attention control in history low prophecy students is your red flag going up right there let me read it again the largest most standardized and most centralized form of attention control in human history this is Tristen heresy study into the Persuasive Technology laboratory at Stanford which is a silly name for it per sways of technology he says when we were studying there they taught us code. Methods to capture and old attention and direct people's on line activity covert methods that doesn't sound like persuasion persuasion is appealing to people's reason presenting evidence Come let us reason together say at the Lord is that what the serpent says no he is more crafty more tricky more subtle than any beast of the feel of the of the garden he uses lives he uses deception he is the father of lies and so when Tristen Harris points out that never before in history have the decisions of a handful of designers had so much impact on how millions of people around the world spend their attention he was spot on he says all of us are jacked into the system all of our minds can be hijacked our choices are not as free as we think they are a handful of people working at a handful of technology companies through their choices will steer what a 1000000000 people are thinking today that's heavy stuff isn't it prophecy students one little technique he says they used to mess with people's Amidala and their limbic system is to give them a little alarm signal by using the color red on the notification instead of the color blue which was not producing enough engagement on the platform he says they changed it to read engagement skyrocketed because the red is used as a trigger color as an alarm signal now by the way when I talk about social media I'm not judging anybody because I grew up in the ninety's the ninety's was actually the birth of social media what is that sound I'm hearing that's a telephone dialing up to the Internet. I was 16 years old. 1996 a social media addict you're like What are these terrible sounds it's a dial up modem. And you log on notice the picture is like you're alone then you're getting together and I'd be looking up profiles of girls on line finding people to chat with till 2 in the morning and Barris thing I know to admit I'm being vulnerable and honest with you please don't judge me the old has gone the new has come I am a new creation my mom would walk in she'd be like Scott why are you still up why are you letting me do this is probably what I'm asking now my parents are wonderful but anyway then the moment would happen the ultimate dopamine hit did I get any did I did I did I. Email now you know you're addicted when in a recent survey internet connection outranks blank and the things millennial value most for quality of life you know what it is hot water and day light we would rather give up how water and nature God's world the light of day that have to give up our internet connection that's addiction right there no mo phobia with 66 percent of people suffer from ranks as high on people's fears scale as a terrorist attack well you don't die if you leave your phone at home and the fear of not having my mobile phone they ask people what word best describes your feelings when you've misplaced your phone and 73 percent of people selected the word. And I am a serious case of no mobo I'm having some foam o. setting and I'm missing out the social media is happening all around me and I'm missing out fear of missing out I have smart phone lost anxiety disorder that's an actual thing science daily as publication smartphone lossing Zaya the disorder and Sherry Turkle research at mit she has found that a lost cell phone hits people emotionally like the death of a loved one. More on that in the afternoon session Dr Carr Doris author of Glo kids I quoted this and the 32nd blurb I've I've worked with hundreds of heroin addicts and what I can say is that it's easier to treat a heroin addict than a true screen addict this is a real addiction Dr Peter Wybrow at u.c.l.a. neuroscience talks about it as electronic cocaine Chinese researchers use the term digital heroin Dr Dunkley says it's a stimulant like caffeine amphetamines or cocaine Dr Andrew down in the u.s. Navy addiction specialist at the Pentagon says these video game designers are specialists obviously their craft is making the games as addictive as possible it is digital pharma key Greek for sorcery or drug use Back to Dr Carr Doris he says we now know that those i Pads smartphones and x. boxes are a form of digital drug recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain's frontal cortex which controls executive function including impulse control in exactly the same way that cocaine does it's a digital drug like cocaine reducing our prefrontal cortex and the average videogame doubles the amount of dopamine in the brain the same amount you get from a dose of speed the eighty's rave drug this is Ian Bogost a famous videogame creator he says these habit forming technologies are the scandal the cigarettes of this century the scandal of the century like cigarette companies were so all of that to say the media mind is addicted but the mind of Christ take a deep breath where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom you fast from these things you give up videogames completely cause what's the point to begin with right in the last days in the time is sure. And you find Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ God's going to give us the victory over every habit but he says your kid's brain on Minecraft looks like a brain on drugs no wonder we have a hard time peeling kids from their screens and find the magic stated when their screen time is interrupted so when I go to what kinds of media and I think about video games in general and your brain on drugs some people are totally addicted to social media too by the way but with video games to me is a different thing because when I was a kid growing up there were these commercials with an egg in a frying pan if you heard about this the egg Franken this is your brain the egg. This is your brain on drugs any questions and it would be this ominous music and I'd be like oh I don't have any questions and I go to the dime store and I buy myself back a candy cigarettes and I'd open up the pack and it would say say no to drugs ironically because it's candy cigarettes but anyway say no to drugs on the billboard say no to drugs was coming at me everywhere because the sixty's and seventy's as a just happened and then eighty's crack cocaine epidemic was happening and we're hearing a lot of advocacy for people with the with the drug issues of our day where are the public service announcements for video game addiction for pornography addiction even for social media addiction I had the chapel speaker companies like your kids from the sixty's. Played in the. Drugs are going to remember and I was like I don't want to have that happen to me I didn't touch drugs I wasn't trying to be a good teenager I thought being a Christian meant I say I believe in Jesus as my Savior everybody sins and that's pretty much Ok because you're just gonna And I just asked forgiveness and pursue on with a life of living our I want and I'm going to be in heaven that's what I thought I would do your Christian was oh wow we need some the ology by the way I did not grow up with the with the present truth so. Wonderful truths came into my life as a young adult learning learning what you all know when you read books like steps to Christ I mean that lays it out you want to understand those things go through that book as a New Years thing go through desire of ages and it gives you the straight Bible gospel message but it's time for that same that same advocacy that people have heard about drugs to happen with this with this digital drug and dealing with this last issue as well the greater loss seminar series and being enslaved to purity in a pornographic world we need freedom as God's people we cannot be enslaved to appetites. Lusts to media addictions and nobody wants to be enslaved right we are like yeah I want that freedom why are we willing to do what it takes are willing to try on a different set of lenses are we willing to fast from something and replace it with something better that's the key by the way something better let that be the watchword because if the brain is powerful to get you addicted to a behavior will guess what it's powerful enough to get you put this in quotes addicted to a new behavior something better something good something wholesome something healthy something spiritual something Minden Hansing something socially beneficial something God glorifying and when you get in a new habit that's what God wants for us that's the transforming in the renewing of our minds of Romans 12 verse 2 then we can cast off all the former habits and we can say the old has gone behold all things are new I'm going to bring up waters and flowers blossoming in the desert God says in Isaiah like what no I am of I'm a barren desert I've got nothing God's going to bring that living water up in your heart if you will go to Jesus if you commit to that devotional time in the 1st thing in the morning or that almost everybody just like I'm on here 1st thing in the morning and doing other things and you might use this devotionally to I do as well no sin in that but are we reverting to the quick pleasure hit of I got it I got to check in over on this thing or do that thing on line or entertainment media worst of all and I'm going to watch them worldly thing God says I've got something much much better in store for you and in the end of the 4th session I'll hit a little segment called How to escape the pleasure trap that's what we're in the pleasure trap many of us are and so I don't have time right now to give you the blueprint for that but just take heart and take hope that God has a plan for every one of us to find life to the full the abundant life pleasures at his right hand evermore where I has not seen nor ear has heard what he has in store for your life. When you surrender and submit to his leading in your life so I've said enough for this session I gotta leave you in suspense on the how to escape the pleasure trap but the next session after this will be people of the book in the age of the app and we're going to deal with book reading and online reading and screens in stress and literacy in the mind one of my favorite sessions to present so I'll have a closing prayer be back here for that session at 12 o'clock also after the closing prayer I'll mention one more thing that I failed to mention about item about the exhibit booth and if anybody is listening to the audio by the way I'm talking only to the audio people who are Listen to this after the fact and you're like What are you saying with the D.V.D.'s email me and I'll set you up with what I'm offering to these guys too so that anybody can have access to our material so let's pray Father we thank you so much that you have a plan for us and that we can we can say thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ and we know there is manipulation but better yet we know there is truth with a capital t. And when we behold Jesus we can become changed we can have minds that are renewed we can come let us reason together we can know the truth and the truth will set us free we thank you for that Jesus and we praise you father for every good and perfect gift that cometh down from the Father above and we just embrace that now and we embrace the challenge we embrace the the stretching of us that you are doing with us this weekend we ask for for rebuke and chastening from you if we need it we know that that is a form of love for Laodicea in Revelation 3 those whom you love you rebuke and chasten so please give us your divine guidance in leading and that we might follow that and come apart from the world and be separate and to find the right balance of our technology use so that it's to your glory so that it's a tool used by us not not using us we just claim the promises of your word and we walk in that new. Of life knowing we are we are we are valued by our Father in heaven thank you that we can call your father in Jesus name and. This message was recorded at the g y c conference by many or by Hugh in Louisville Kentucky do you I see a supporting Ministry of the 7th Day Adventist Church seeks to challenge and inspire young people to take a sacrificial initiative for Christ to download other resources like this visit us online at www dot org.


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