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Life of Faith

Screens vs You

How can we prevent digital media from controlling and distorting our lives?

By Gillian Bethel

If we search the terms “digital media harmful” on Google, we’re offered nearly 100,000,000 results. The first entry reads, “Excessive digital media consumption may increase vulnerability to addiction and harm mental and physical health.” This is old news, so why are we still glued to our screens for hours when we know it’s bad for us?

One reason is that we’re being “helped” to stay connected. Perhaps we’re not aware that our online activity is monitored by artificial intelligence. Based on our profile, we’re continually being offered appealing content to keep us clicking for long periods. The goal is to increase our exposure to targeted advertising—big tech’s revenue source. Perhaps we also don’t realize that our emotions are being deliberately stirred by targeted social media posts, selected for us personally by artificial intelligence. The more we’re provoked to respond to

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  1. “Even Just Seeing Your Phone Nearby Can Mess With Your Brain Power,”, June 26, 2017.

  2. Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan, iBrain: Surviving Technological Alteration of the Modern
    Mind (New York: Harper Collins, 2008), p. 67.

  3. Cora M. Dzubak, PhD, “Learning and Multi-tasking: can we do both?”

  4. See the “Journeys” videos at

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About the author

Gillian Bethel taught college Bible classes for many years. She is passionate about making Christianity practical for daily challenges.