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Thursday, April 14, 2011

No Time to Listen to God

“How could this great land of plenty produce too few people in the last 30 years? Here is the brutal truth that no one dares to mention: We’re too few because too many of our babies have been killed. Over 45 million since Roe v. Wade in 1973. If those 45 million children had lived, today they would be defending our country, they would be filling our jobs, they would be paying into Social Security. Still, we watch as 3,700 babies are killed every single day in America. It is unbelievable that a nation under God would allow this.” — Former Senator Zell Miller

One of my favorite bloggers is Robin of Berkley. Robin is a physiologist living and working in Berkley, California who writes under a nom de plume on the American Thinker web site. She does this in order to keep her identity secret due to having a medical practice in the left-wing town of Berkley.

Robin is a Jewish lady who was raised in a very left-wing family and until several years ago was believed in the progressive, socialist left-wing way of life and government. Several years ago, as she states, she had a radical conversion of thought and now is a committed conservative who believes in the Constitution, freedom and personal responsibility.

In her latest blog “My Five Minutes of Fame on Facebook” Robin talks about social networking and what it is doing to our children and society in general. She references several articles in the Daily Mail talking about how social networking and texting is affecting the youth in the UK.

Robin writes; “There is a fascinating article from the UK about teenagers going through withdrawal when their wiring was removed for a day. Even though the kids had a landline phone and a book, they still suffered like any addict. They all had overwhelming cravings; one youngster reported itching like a crack head.”

“Of course, it's not just teens who are hooked these days, but people of every age. While the ever present wiring is altering brain cells, what's more disturbing is the effect on society.”

“Human beings are not designed to be busy all of the time. I heard a spiritual teacher once say that wisdom is found in the moment between two thoughts. It's only during those blessed moments of quiet when we hear God. “

“But this culture is phasing out God as surely as last year's iPad. None of this is coincidental. Keeping the masses dumbed down and addicted is all part of the Marxist playbook. A distracted populace won't notice that the country is going down the tubes.”

If you have ever watched some of those “man on the street” interviews on the late night shows or cable news channels you get Robin’s point. I was watching a documentary on the History channel last night of the dangers of nuclear weapons. At one point during the film the producers did a “man on the street” interview asking people if they knew how many nations had nuclear weapons. It was amazing to me that not one person could name more than three nations.

This same ignorance applies to questions about our government, economy, laws, history or geography when posed to the man or woman on the street. On the other hand most of the people interviewed can give you the latest news from the world of entertainment. Also it’s interesting to see welfare recipients and students at demonstrations or protests with smartphone costing hundreds of dollars for the device and over one hundred dollars per month for the plan that ou must take when you purchase the device.

Robin continues; “As for me, I keep my wiring to a minimum. I do this purposely; growing up with parents who loved their liquor, I could easily get hooked like many others.”

“I own a Dumb phone (as opposed to a Smart one); exactly three people have the number. I have never had cable TV in my life. “

“Let me tell you, I was in a rotten mood the day that I had to procure one of those black converter boxes from Radio Shack when they eliminated analog. Then I had to spend several hours figuring out how to get it to work.”

“What complicated the set-up is that my television is a 1984 Sony Trinitron, which has its own separate black box. (Note to anyone under 40: big-ticket items like televisions were once made to last more than six months.)”

“When I was a progressive, cable kept me blissfully ignorant of all the things my brethren were doing to corrupt America. Shorn of cable, I have never had the pleasure of seeing Lawrence O'Donnell, Rachel Maddow or Ed Schultz on the big screen.”

Robin continues about Facebook and her brief experience with the social networking site. “I have stayed far away from any social networking site for as long as I could. From what I was gathering, incessant Facebooking was turning many minds to mush (not to mention inciting riots and insurrection). But a couple of months ago, I signed on to see what all the fuss was about it.”

“Facebook makes it super simple to register and within minutes I was one of the gazillion members. Then it happened — suddenly, out of nowhere, a ton of smiling pictures appeared.”

“There were old friends, new friends, neighbors, and people of unknown origin. How in the world did Facebook accomplish this strange feat?”

“Then I realized to my shock and horror that the site had accessed all of my email contacts. I was aghast; had I forfeited my right to privacy the minute I signed up?”

“My eyes fixed on a photo of Susan, an old, dear friend who stopped talking to me during the presidential election. We had an email fight about Obama, and I never heard from her again. And yet there was Susan smiling at me, reminding me of the destruction that election wrought.”

“And I saw Leslie, a close family member who, for no good reason, has recently stopped talking to my husband and me. I've tried to reason with her, but she remains in a huff. Yet Leslie was happily hugging her cat, an in-my-face reminder of something that upsets me every time I think about it (thanks, Facebook!).”

“It was like a walk down memory lane — a really bad and unpleasant walk. It felt like one of those nightmares where you're in your pajamas amongst a large gathering of people. I wasn't expecting to see Susan or Leslie or any of them for that matter. And yet, through the wizardry of Facebook, there they stood.”

“And then I had an even more horrifying thought: not only was I getting their info, but they were getting mine. At this very moment, dozens of people were learning that I was now on Facebook.”

“I would soon be deluged with offers to be friended by my friends and by my friends' friends. Given that I have spent my entire life learning how to set boundaries with people, the idea of all these humans flooding my life was more than I could bear.”

“And that's when I did something that may never been done in the history of Facebook. I frantically searched around, and found my way to a wondrous link that read: Delete account permanently. And this is exactly what I did, five minutes after beginning. And just like magic, all of the smiling faces disappeared.”

I have a Facebook account that I rarely use and I sympathize with Robin. So far after having the account for over two years I find no real value in it with the exception of voyeurism. I know that many people use Facebook and other social sites to communicate with friends and acquaintances and most of the politicians and pundits now have a Facebook page to spread their message. This is the new media.

I am not so much concerned about the value of Facebook as I am with the time people, especially the young, spend posting irrelevant comments, like “I am doing the wash now” on it. I seems as though these people are not taking time to read and think. For adults this is not a dangerous thing, it’s merely something they do to relieve the boredom in their lives.

It’s another mater for the young. Children as young as 10 and 11 are now using Facebook for all of the wrong reasons. They use it to publically bully people they don’t like and hook up with the opposite sex. They spend way too much time on Facebook of texting with their expensive smartphones and not nearly enough time learning about the nation they live in or its geography, history and Constitution. In many cases they are sending mindless text messages rather than talking with someone face to face.

When I was growing up it was fashionable for girls, when they reached a certain age, to have their own phone — this is why the phone companies sold the princess phone. They would talk with their friends on the phone and when their parents felt they were spending too much time on the phone the treat to take away the phone was always on the table.

Now parents have little control over what is going on with Facebook or texting. They don’t know if they are sending little messages lake telling people where they are or what to meet at the mall or sending the opposite sex photos of themselves in compromising poses and dress or bully another teenager.

I think Susan Greenfield in her Mail Online article said it best; “Already, it's pretty clear that the screen-based, two dimensional world that so many teenagers - and a growing number of adults - choose to inhabit is producing changes in behavior. Attention spans are shorter, personal communication skills are reduced and there's a marked reduction in the ability to think abstractly.”

“This games-driven generation interprets the world through screen-shaped eyes. It's almost as if something hasn't really happened until it's been posted on Facebook, Bebo or YouTube.”

“Add that to the huge amount of personal information now stored on the internet — births, marriages, telephone numbers, credit ratings, holiday pictures — and it's sometimes difficult to know where the boundaries of our individuality actually lie. Only one thing is certain: those boundaries are weakening.”

Another Mail columnist, Daniel Bates, writes on the affect these gadgets have on the youth. He claims; “As any parent of a teenager knows, trying to stop them using their computer or mobile phone usually results in a tantrum.”

“But perhaps such outbursts are not pure petulance. The withdrawal symptoms young people experience when deprived of their gadgets are comparable with those of drug addicts going ‘cold turkey’, a study claims.”

“Researchers found that 79 per cent of students subjected to a complete media blackout for just one day reported adverse reactions ranging from distress to confusion and isolation.”

“In vivid accounts, they told of overwhelming cravings, with one saying they were ‘itching like a crackhead [crack cocaine addict]’.”

Smartphones have also creeped into the world of business. Even the president of the United States cannot give up his Blackberry and the Secret Service had to develop a special encryption for his. Also, all of his texting and e-mail on this device will become a part of the public record.

One of the most annoying things about these phones is that the used is more interested in the phone than you. Have you ever gone to a meeting, lunch or dinner where someone receives an e-mail or text message and just can’t wait to bring out the phone and see what the message says? I have been guilty of this on occasion and properly reprimanded by my wife.

All of these devices, gadgets and networks have some value. After all I am posting this blog on the internet from my computer. It would be difficult to write this blog with pen and ink and send to everyone through the mail. These devices also provide jobs for the people who make them, mainly the Chinese and Koreans.

The question I pose is has the use of these devices made us a more informed people or just a society of busybodies anxious to relieve the boredom in our lives?

I believe Robin of Berkley hit the nail on the head when she wrote; “While it may be interesting to find out whatever happened to so-and-so from high school math class, I mostly want to tune in to the soft whisper of God's voice. And I don't want to be busy texting when He is trying to find me.”

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