These are some of my observations on the coarsening of our culture. This is not extensive because it will probably grow, but definitely not shrink.
- OMG – This is a ubiquitous acronym meaning “Oh my God”. No Christian should ever use this exclamation because at best it’s a numbing of the meaning of God and at its worse blasphemy. Choose another exclamation e.g. “Thank you very much.”, “Whoa”, “Wow!”, “What???”,
- Like – This is an overused filler word which can be left out most of the time. It’s appropriate when using a simile e.g. “It was so hot today that it felt like the desert.” Usually, this is a result of laziness when talking.
- Frigging – Frigging is a substitute for the F-bomb. It seems to be nice, but it has the same meaning. Find another adjective in the thesaurus or even better just leave it out. Instead of saying “That was frigging great.” just say, “That was great.”
- Addiction to electronic devices –Learn the art of conversation. Sitting in a room with friends and family while texting is usually not a necessity but, a habit. One of the problems with electronics addictions is that your mind is constantly occupied with email, text, Snapchat, music, Facebook, etc. This means that there is limited to no time allocated to think, process, muse, ponder, and have that critical inner dialogue.
My nephew, from Rhode Island, visited us at a North Carolina beach. He was walking on the beach by the surf with his smartphone in hand and buds in ears. He was on vacation and spent his time listening to music and texting with friends. I asked home about his frequency of texting and he said “About 300-400 a day”. That may be an exaggeration but over 100 a day is a lot!
Just as clean air makes it possible to breathe, silence makes it possible to think. – Matthew Crawford
- Thinking a ringing phone or text needs immediate attention – Screen your phone calls and text because most are not a real-time response. It’s a modern opportunity to always be available for communication. Millennials are the first generation to have cell/smart phones from elementary school.
If I am visiting somebody’s office and their phone rings, then they will inevitably answer the phone as if it’s a higher priority. However, if another person comes to the office then they will have to wait for my visit to complete. They are both disruptive, but a phone call seems to have priority over a personal visit.
Take advantage of your voice mail to control your time. Allocate specific times of day to catch up on email and voicemail.
- Social media is a poor choice for therapy – If you are having relational problems then Facebook (or any social media) is a bad forum because it’s public, and most of your “friends” are not really friends but acquaintances. It can become gossip, which is a sin. Some things are better handled in private.
- Comparing yourself to others – The popularity of tabloid magazines (People, US, most of the magazines at the check-out counter) are about the wealthy, famous, beautiful people and the façade of their great lives. We like to live our lives vicariously by imaging how great their lives are. The same thing happens with Facebook. We see pictures of smiling people at events or on vacation but never pictures of the struggles and frustrating times. This presents a distorted view of life when balance is needed. We all have good times and bad times. We like to hide the uncomfortable in our lives when those weaknesses are what makes us relatable.
- Pursuing the world’s unattainable beauty standards – Most of the models have a makeup artist, a hairstylist, professional photographers, lighting, and Photoshop. Even the models do not look like their pictures. God made you beautiful. Focus on your inward beauty.
What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. (Matthew 15:11)
What comes out of your mouth reveals your heart which is fed from your mind. To improve your beauty, change what you put into your mind, which will influence your heart, which will change the words that come out of your mouth. Now that’s a beauty makeover!