Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuning out in church

My elders quorum president made an interesting observation on Sunday. He said that during elders quorum he watched the men’s heads drop like in a game of “Guess Who”. I’ve noticed this phenomenon before, and sadly I’m not exempt from it. Look around a church meeting sometime and you’re guaranteed to see it. Nearly everyone is looking down… at a phone.

I shouldn’t generalize. I look at my tablet. Now I known you can get the scriptures on everything from a smartphone to an Easy Bake Oven, but peek at the screens. Most often I see Facebook. Next is texts, then various games, then occasionally scriptures. Unless of course the teacher asks the class to read, then it’s a scramble to get to the right page.

My question isn’t whether or not it’s bad, because it’s certainly not good. It’s also not new. Before my tablet I had my sketch book, and back in the day I snuck Gameboy time during sacrament (and I still may with my DS, don’t judge). My question is can anything really be done?

Like I said, I’m just as guilty, my screens usually got Facebook or puzzles. To be honest I can’t remember what the lesson was on Sunday. As I write this I can see the journals a young pre-mission Joe wrote in during every Sunday school class, elders quorum, sacrament, institute class and fireside. Sure I’d text sketch and train my Pokemon, but my first priority was my journal.

So is there a way I can get back to that and if so how?

I know some would say to just go back to the old giant paper quad and teachings of the prophets manual, but despite my FB addiction I actually do use my tablet for my calling. Plus I think technology can be a great teaching tool in the gospel, when used right.
That being said, here’s my thought: Why can’t the same technology used to distract from Sunday lessons be used to help us pay attention? Cliché’ sounding I know but stick with me here. Besides the scriptures and teaching manual, think of all the awesomeness the internet can bring to a lesson. An endless supply of talks, Ensign stories, movie quotes and just flat out C.S. Lewis stuff. What would Sunday School be like with each member taking the lesson to new highs using their cell phones and tablets?
So here’s my missionary-ish challenge: If you’re like me and completely tuned out last Sunday into the world of Angry Birds, texting your mom, or training your Charizard, try something new this Sunday: Listen to the lesson and the first time the teacher asks a question they figure they’re going to either get a primary answer or none at all and see if you can find something on your device to add to the lesson.  I’m doing it this Sunday. See what you feel after the class. Is it the same feeling as last week? Is it the same as completing a level on Plague Inc?
Let us know.


P.S. Harry Potter reviews next week! :D

1 comment:

  1. I think this is my favorite post on here in a long time. And that goes against my posts, even!