We tend to think that everything should be immediately available because that’s how things are online. And so we kind of develop this impatience with regular life, which tends to be delayed and not as instantly gratifying as we might wish. We tend to view things through the lens of convenience and efficiency rather than the difficulty of maybe making a phone call or having a face-to-face conversation. As we are immersing ourselves in online technology, it becomes very difficult to imagine the world in a different way.
A Mental World vs. Physical Reality
When we think about being online a lot—and the average person is online a lot—there are statistics that say that we’re checking email for anywhere from three to four hours per day. And we’re on social media for about that same length of time every day. So that is a solid eight hours or so of online consumption.
And so when you ask, How could that be shaping us? Well, the real answer is, How could it not be shaping us? This is where we are putting our attention. This is where we’re doing most of our reading, most of our work, most of our communication, and even things like digitally mediated worship.