August 29, 2012

For goodness sakes, put that iphone down!

“Daddy, daddy, daddy… DAAAADDY!” my daughter said. “Yes, what? Sorry.” My often half hearted reply as I hesitatingly put down my most prized possession (based on time spent with it). “Watch this…” she says.

“Hey, babe?” my wife says. “Yes.” I reply with my head buried in my iPhone Twitter feed and TV blaring in the background. “Are you listening?” she asks with irritation in her voice. “What?”

“Hey, did you see that? Josh Hamilton hit two bombs tonight!” “BABE, I’m trying to have a conversation with you…”


Me, you, dare I say the majority of people. You can substitute any type of phone, electronics, or anything else. We are a distracted people with tons of information about an inch deep. These real life scenes from my own life reflect a problem in our culture: Partial attentiveness and a lack of the ability to concentrate. Think I’m crazy? Next time you are in a group of people see how many actually carry on conversations vs. how many are on a smart phone or other electronic device. A good friend of mine and I talked about this topic about a week ago. We lamented the lack of our own depth of knowledge of meaningful subjects and as a substitute we have a great aptitude for meaningless knowledge i.e. how many home runs Josh Hamilton has. (34 in case your wondering, two behind the MLB lead).

If I wasn’t so distracted right now I could probably write a longer, better article!

I propose we recapture the ability to linger long on one subject and plumb its depths. I propose men lead their families by focusing in on their wives and children and listen well. How can we get this done? Post a comment and let us know.

If you want to know how long this problem has been around check this article from a guy that stumbled upon a book written about concentration in 1918!

Let me know which technique you master.

– Article contributed by Lanny O’Steen. Director of Young Men’s Teams for the Master’s Men ministry.