Episode 54 – Digital Distraction (with Jeff Graham)

Episode 54 - man looking at phone

Jake and Brett are joined by their friend Jeff Graham, a businessman for over twenty years who has a passion for raising awareness about the impact of digital media and its capacity to distract us from what really matters. We discuss the alarming frequency of digital use as well as practical ways to return to what really matters individually and as families. 


Guiding Quotes

There’s a madness to our moment, and we need to name it for the lunacy it is. Because it’s taking our lives hostage. Then there’s the deluge of media coming at us in a sort of mesmerizing digital spell. We’re spending three hours a day using apps on our phones, ten hours viewing media, consuming enough information each week to crash a laptop. We talk about unplugging, but we’re enchanted—by the endless social media circus of love and hatred, the vapid, alarming, sensational, and unforgivable. We’re snagged by every new notification. And while we’ve always had our individual struggles and heartbreaks to deal with, now we have the tragedies of the entire world delivered to us hourly on our mobile devices. This is all very hard on the soul. Traumatizing, in fact.” (John Eldredge, Get Your Life Back)

Key Points

  • Digital media can have a significant negative effect in our lives
  • We spend large amounts of time on our devices
  • There is a big difference between face to face relationship and digital relationships
  • Ask yourself: “Is my use of digital media serving who I want to be as a person?”
  • “Let’s be honest: we prefer distraction. The more distracted we are, the less present we are to our souls’ various hurts, needs, disappointments, boredom, and fears. It’s a short-term relief with long-term consequences. What blows my mind is how totally normal this has become; it’s the new socially acceptable addiction.” John Eldredge, Get Your Life Back).
  • “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation” (Henry David Thoreau) 
  • Digital media has turned us into Pavlov’s dog
  • Digital media allows us to avoid and hide in ways that make it seem like we are engaged in life
  • It’s valuable to make a decision about what you are and aren’t going to do with regards to screens and then stick with it
  • Having rules for digital media in the family can be challenging but is life-giving in the long run
  • Prudence and detachment are important for staying healthy with digital media
  • Each individual and family’s value and commitment regarding screens is important to articulate and adhere to

Discussion Questions

  • What struck you from this episode?
  • What is your relationship like with the digital world?
  • How much time do you spend in front of a screen everyday? How does it impact you?
  • What are some excuses you make to stay on screens? (“I have to, it’s for work. I’m just researching something).
  • IS your use of social media serving who you want to be as a person?
  • How have you noticed that digital media affects you?
  • What are some practical ways you can improve your use of digital media?
  • How can you use technology as a tool to make the world a better place?