It’s easy to decry the mind-numbing and temperament changing cons of social media as the downfall of modern discourse. I laid out my indictment here. However, there is another by-product of our desire for instant gratification in the ersatz worlds we construct online. Namely; the decline in numbers of people who identify as church-goers / religious.
Think about it. The life of a faithful person is filled with, or should be filled with; introspection, quiet moments, moments where they embrace suffering as a means to foster a deeper relationship with God, moments of pure charity and moments of either sorrowful or joyful prayer. All of these moments, while fundamentally similar in their goals theologically, are vastly different practically. The singular truth in commonality which binds them is time. These things take time. And let’s be honest, the payoff for these actions and moments while sometimes incredibly fulfilling and transcendent can often times leave much to be desired. That is when faith is supposed to take over to remind the believer that it is not the rewards they receive in this life which are to be coveted and sanctified in their own minds. Rather, it is what awaits us in Heaven which is to be sought after and fought for. This may seem easy enough to understand but it is a different story altogether when put into practice by a generation of people who are used to instant gratification.
The internet is not evil. It is not a tool of the devil. On the contrary, the internet, and its readily available resources are a gift for modern people wishing to learn, connect and discover a myriad of things they would not have had access to 25 years ago is truly fantastic. But like any other society-changing bombshell inventions, there are unwanted and unforeseen societal changes which accompany them. In this case, it is the complete loss of anything even resembling patience. When we condition our brains to getting used to having instant answers, affirmation and entertainment anything else which we have to wait a lifetime for becomes a goal to worry about only when we have reached an age where the technology has passed us by. We will worry about Heaven when we don’t know how to use our devices anymore. When our grandkids have to show us how to use the Christmas presents they purchase us as a photo-op novelty. “Check out grandpa and his new Ipad25! He’s so cute and so stupid<3”.
A generation of people are growing up never having to wait for anything, really. And when they are forced to be patient, they reach for their devices like a frustrated Poe reaching for laudanum. It is no great shock that people are unwilling to sit in a church for an hour let alone wait a lifetime to receive an award. For this reason, not only does the global Christian community suffer, but the world as a whole also suffers. The world needs Christians. The major problem now; is that Christians seem to need the world more than they need their Lord.