Yesterday, I listened to a video about the difficulties of the Millennial Generation (the mid–1990s to early 2000s), also called “Gen Y.” I will write more broadly about this in the near future. Two comments that got my attention were: 1) It is wrong for other generations to deflect their difficulties back on Gen Y individuals. 2) The Gen Y addition to the instant feel-good release of dopamine that comes from seeing unknown people “like” their comments is the same amount that comes from addictions to eating, gambling, online shopping, and sex.
This social-technological addiction can be seen in the waiting rooms of doctor’s offices, bus stops, and parent/teacher meetings. Here is the one that got me thinking – If denied access to their smartphones, Gen Y people often learn more while waiting for a meeting to start than is in the meeting!
Not Just Gen Y
Our society seems to have learned to use social media for social avoidance. When people waited for a meeting to start, they used to talk with each other. “How’s your dad doing since he was released from the hospital?” “Did you buy that truck you were looking at?” “I’m going to need those TPS reports… ASAP.1“
No Quick Way
At the root of our social avoidance is risk aversion. We can get a quick “hit” of dopamine from a few “likes” on Facebook instead of the slow process of learning about other people’s lives and risking that we will “put our foot in our mouth.”
It is the long-term journey into personal relationships that provides us with deep friendships, lasting marriages, and reliable faith in Christ Jesus our Savior. A fulfilling life is achieved by learning to “not just do something but sit there.” God said it this way:
“Be still, and know that I am God!Psalms 46:10 NLT.
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”
Notice the two parts of the first sentence. “Be still.” This has almost become an antiquated skill. Few people are ever still. Few turn their music off, their TV off, go into their prayer closet2, and be still. The second part tells us, “And know that I am God!” It is nearly enough for us to do what my parents told me: “Sit down, shut up, and pay attention.” We need to know God. To know anything takes time, it takes effort, it takes commitment.
We need repeated times when we come to God and don’t pray our “shopping list.” We need to be still. To listen. To be aware. During these times, we don’t just empty our minds; we learn to know God. We learn how God deals with nations (see verse six 3). We need to gain confidence from the knowledge that God will be honored throughout the world – we are not on the losing side.
Our spiritual “core strength” will become firm from our quietness with God. It will become beneficial. A life that contains joy, strength, and a deep, personal relationship with the God of our eternity comes from repeated times of quietness, being still before God. Our investment in this relationship must be greater and for a longer time than we spend with any video game, tik-tok™️, or social avoidance technology.
** No part of this article was produced by artificial intelligence (AI). **
- Judy, A. (2021, May 30). The 17 Best Quotes from Office Space that will Make you Laugh. AnQuotes.Com. https://www.anquotes.com/office-space-quotes/ ↩︎
- Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 6:6 – King James Version. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved November 10, 2023, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%206%3A6&version=KJV ↩︎
- Bible Gateway passage: Psalm 46:6 – New Living Translation. (n.d.). Bible Gateway. Retrieved November 10, 2023, from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2046%3A6&version=NLT ↩︎