Finish Strong With Fearless Faith

The Death of Wisdom in America #65

August 29, 2022 Fearless Faith Season 2 Episode 65
Finish Strong With Fearless Faith
The Death of Wisdom in America #65
Show Notes Transcript

How much time do you spend on your phone, tablet or computer every day?  Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling from one thing to another?  The fact is, most of us waste several hours a day going from one thing to another without actually learning anything useful.  This kind of viewing is actually “rewiring” our brain, since there is no continuity to it.  As a result, we have more and more information but less and less wisdom.

Since the debut of the iPhone, there has been a rise in mental challenges such as depression, loneliness, anxiety, sleeplessness and even suicidal thoughts.  We seemingly have more connection with people but we’re living more isolated lives.  

On this edition of Finish Strong, we explore how social media is leading to the death of wisdom in America.  We will show you how to live wisely in this unwise age!

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Dan Wheeler:

why today's super connected kids are growing up, less rebellious, more tolerant, less happy, and completely unprepared for adulthood and what that means for the rest of us, that's just the title. That's just the title of the book must be 1000s of pages long.

John Matarazzo:

Live your life with purpose, change someone's life for the better, and leave a lasting impact on those around you. Welcome to finish strong, the podcast designed to help you discover your unique purpose and develop a plan to leave a powerful legacy. Dan, Brian and Terry are ready. So let's get started.

Dan Wheeler:

Well, we are inundated with information these days, we have more access to information than we've ever had. And yet, what is it doing to our minds? We read a novels worth of words every day, but it isn't the continuous sustained, concentrated reading that's conducive to reflective thinking. Henceforth, we are eroding our capacity for wisdom. We're going to talk about that today and finish strong. I'm Dan Wheeler, joined by Brian rollin Terry Steen and our fearless producer John Maeda. razo. And before we get into this topic, guys, how are you doing? I haven't seen you in a while.

Terry Steen:

Well, first of all, henceforth,

Dan Wheeler:

it's a I've been using my thesaurus.

Terry Steen:

That is a pretty big word for you. Know what, it

Dan Wheeler:

keeps me honest.

Terry Steen:

It is good to have be back though, isn't it? He missed those last two. How you doing, Brian?

Brian Roland:

Like I said, I'm hanging in here. A little brain fog. So if I go off the rails someplace, just say, Okay, you're done.

Terry Steen:

won't cut your mic off.

Dan Wheeler:

Well, the three of us have been reading the wisdom pyramid by a guy named Brett McCracken. And I'm going to start off by reading just a paragraph from his introduction to this book. It's fascinating. He says our world has more and more information, but less and less wisdom. Boy, isn't that the truth? More data, less clarity, more stimulation, less synthesis, more distraction, but less stillness, more pontificating, less pondering more opinion, less research, more speaking, less listening, more to look at less to see more amusements, less joy. Guys, that's that's a powerful statement right there. With all this information, people thought, wow, we're gonna be smart. We're gonna have so much wisdom. It's not happening, is it?

Terry Steen:

No, and it just think about a world that has all of those lesser things that lesser clarity, lesser pondering, lesser research, lesser stillness, less are listening. All those things are overtaking our country, aren't they?

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah. And as a result, I don't think people are as happy or as fulfilled What say you, Brian Roland,

Brian Roland:

I'm happy and fulfilled because I'm not wise. The world. Why isn't the word you know, it's funny because I stopped my Bible. And I opened up the first Corinthians 318, which I think is centered on boy, this is perfect for today. It says, Let no man deceive himself. Any that among you that thinks he is wise in this age? Let him become foolish, that he may become wise. I thought, boy, that is perfect. What we're going to talk about today, everybody thinks that they can get instant answers, especially with their devices, their phones, their iPads. But at the same time, it's just other people's opinions mostly. And it's just you're trying to gather all this information in your head of what somebody else is putting out there. And you don't remember half of it and what stuff you do remember, it hasn't it has never been verified, and see you just reading it. And so you don't become wise, you become foolish in that sense.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah. We have become the digital age there are there's a whole generation of kids growing up living their lives through their iPhones through their smartphones. And it really is curious to me and Brett McCracken even brought this up in the wisdom pyramid his book, he said, The logo is an apple with a bite mark for the iPhone. And that's a nod to Eve's Original Sin we had she wanted to eat of that tree of the knowledge of good and evil and that's the one tree God said not to so we we have this insatiable thirst for knowledge. But just like with Adam and Eve, it can lead to a lot of grief.

Terry Steen:

You know, Dan, one thing you mentioned about the teens and I know even for my Self, that it's becoming a challenge to not let social media overtake me. But I was reading an article, and there was some study done in the Gospel coalition, and it says nearly half of US teens say they are never not online. Why is that? Not amazing? It's like 95% of them use YouTube 19% use it almost constantly. So there's 20% of people that use these kids that are constantly on it. And then 67 Use tick tock, and it works its way on down. 46% use the internet almost constantly. So this statistics backup what you were just saying, and it is scary. Boy, it

Dan Wheeler:

really is,

Brian Roland:

as I say, everyone, I read in the book there says everyone has a megaphone, but no one has a filter, and isn't in the truth. But you were just so true. It's got something to say. So you're reading what everybody else says. But it's not filtered at all. And you

Dan Wheeler:

wonder what it's doing to these kids, because we grew up playing outside the ball field, or building something with, you know, our Lincoln logs or just using our imagination. These kids are, they're passive. They're just watching all this entertainment and all this stuff. And as Brett McCracken said, it's really rewiring our brain. And Terry, you mentioned, even as adults, you know, you go online, and you're skimming and you're scanning and there's, there's no continuity, you know, you just it's aimless, like, you can watch a silly video, then you can move right into a political argument into a golf video into news. There's no connection. And so we're reading all this information. And we remember nothing,

Terry Steen:

right? Yeah, yeah, I think a couple of things that get me normally, I like to start my morning reading my Bible first thing. And I have caught myself as I begun to check my phone first. And I have three or four newsletters on there. So then I'm curious as about about what's in the news that day. So I'll open one and start working through and then there's embedded links. And before I know it, I've spent a half hour to an hour going through newsletters, and I've pushed my Bible reading off. And fortunately, I'm retired and can typically get to it. But I can understand how somebody could miss their window and maybe not read their Bible that day.

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, here's something interesting CS Lewis in The Screwtape Letters, which was written decades and decades ago, talked about how vulnerable we are because of our aversion to the horror of the same old thing. We want something new, we need to be constantly entertained. And I see it with these kids today, you know, with my own grandkids, always want to have something exciting happening. But they're not taking the time for reflective learning and reading. So there's something called the death of truth, which is happening. And that is where each person has become their own authority. You know, Rene Descartes, I think, therefore, I am John Locke. They all had, they were philosophers who they also held to this feeling that we are the arbiters of truth. And boy, when everybody's living their own truth, that can lead to deep problems in society. Yeah, yeah,

Brian Roland:

sure. Can I just reminds me of the saying, to each their own, you know, you do you mean, to me that type of thing exactly where it's leading to?

Dan Wheeler:

Yeah, in 2018, at the Golden Globes award, Oprah Winfrey gave an acceptance speech. And she said, What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the more most powerful tool we all have. But you know, the Bible talks about in Judges 2125, when every man was doing what was right in their own eyes, that's a recipe for disaster. Proverbs 1412 says, there's a way that seems right to a man, but then thereof are the ways of death. So looking within for truth is a dangerous trend, and it's really taking over our world today.

Terry Steen:

Yeah. And when you talk about knowledge and wisdom in the world is gets very confused on that because they look at knowledge, the same as wisdom, but knowledge is really intellect. We have a world of intellectuals. But that doesn't mean they have wisdom, because wisdom is knowing what to do with the knowledge you've acquired. Right? And that's the problem. They have knowledge that they think is truth, but that's not wisdom,

Dan Wheeler:

your truth ultimately leads to loneliness and depression. Because you're losing your connectivity with others, and we are not islands. We need each other. It's killing our sense of community. And there's a lady named Jean Twenge, she wrote a book about the I generation. And this is a very long title. The title of her book is why today's super connected kids are growing up, less rebellious, more tolerant, less happy, and completely unprepared for adulthood. And what that means for the rest of us,

Terry Steen:

that's just the title. That's just the title of the book

Dan Wheeler:

must be 1000s of pages long. But you know, they're all connected, but really, they're not.

Brian Roland:

Well, you know, it's also said, in the book there, I thought was interesting that mental health among the AI Jen began spiking after the debut of the iPhone in 2017. Isn't isn't? Yeah, he had an iPhone where they can add a phone that they can sit there and they can get onto the Internet and start doing everything with is when the middle hell started going down with our, our iGeneration kids.

Terry Steen:

And I think what they're missing is, we don't get to choose whether something is true or not, right? We don't get to invent truth. We just have to search it out and accept it. And that's where they're trying to invent their own truth. Yeah. And

Dan Wheeler:

you think about with all this knowledge, and with all this entertainment, depression is now the leading cause of disability worldwide, with over 300 million suffering from it across the globe. That's according to Jean Twenge in this book. And Brett McCracken talks about in that wisdom pyramid, you know, it's interesting, because in his book, he compares the food pyramid, to the wisdom pyramid. And when we're getting all this constant stimulation, and a little bit of this a little bit that he's like, he said, It's like snacking, or just eating candy or fast food. We're not getting meat. You know, which Paul talked about Corinthians, I've fed you with milk, not with meat. We're now getting real truth and substance. And you're right. Our society knows no truth. Hey, how about the fact checkers online? Who are these fact checkers? And where did they have the truth? And where did they get their facts that really drives me crazy.

Terry Steen:

Oh, my goodness, social media where even the any of them Facebook, any of them? They sit there and they pull something off saying that they fact checked it, and it was an untruth? And then you sit and look at it, and you realize that it was that person's opinion, right exam, there was nothing that could have proven that to not be true.

Brian Roland:

There's a popular fact finding yourself out there. They're supposed to be verifying. And it ended up that it was a husband and wife husband or wife that was safe. This was factor nine.

Dan Wheeler:

Oh boy, where are we getting our facts? Where are we getting our truth? Where were we getting our wisdom? And you know, you look at this disconnection, and living to the lens, and it's even divided us from our own bodies. When you look at what's happening with gender confusion has little to do with biology. It seems like we're, we're being almost disconnected from our own bodies.

Terry Steen:

Oh, yeah, that's something that's as it irritates me, probably more than any other cultural shift that's taking place is the whole issue of being able to decide for yourself if you're a male, or a female. And so much of society is feeding into this. And you sit back and you go, those of us who know the absolute truth, those of us who live our lives based on God's word, it's quite obvious to us. But we have a world of people who don't have that truth as a reference point. And I just read an article yesterday, the day before, where the courts somebody gave approval for a male who has male genitalia, but considers himself a female to be able to go into a female prison and stay in a female prison. And all those types of things are just such slippery slopes.

Brian Roland:

You know, to the there was one article I was reading or maybe it was in the book that was talking about how these kids in the i generation, how they know there, there was a story about a guy. He's like five, eight or something and he was identified as a 65665. Chinese woman. Yeah,

Dan Wheeler:

actually, I saw that video Brian when

Brian Roland:

they were They were kids are having a hard time saying no, that's not true. Because everything is based on feelings now not on knowledge and facts is how do you feel? How do you feel about this? I want to be a woman, I don't want to feel I want to be a man. You know, it's all in the feelings now. And that, in fact,

Dan Wheeler:

well, Romans 122 comes to mind Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And you know, there are a lot of very smart people, very intellectual people. But where is their wisdom? Yeah, I mean, it just doesn't make sense. And so, Terry, where should we be looking for our truth in our wisdom?

Terry Steen:

Well, it's gotta be the word of God, a fearless faith, the three of us are not here to offend anybody. We're not here to make anybody mad. But the reality is, we are here to proclaim the Word of God, and to proclaim that truth. And when we keep that as our bottom line, focus Porter point, our true north, we have no option, but to potentially disagree with some people that have those kinds of thoughts and those kinds of feelings, right.

Dan Wheeler:

And, you know, as Christians, were told to do everything out of love. So we love these people. We love everyone. Yeah. And we want people to know the truth that we've found. We've experienced it in our own lives, we know the power of the word, when you read the Bible, there is a whole level of wisdom there that you don't get from any other book. So for us here at Fearless faith and the finished strong podcast, the Bible is our source of truth and wisdom and wisdom. We said earlier, Terry, I think you said it. It's not just knowledge or data processing or facts, or even knowing the right answer. It's how to live wisely. Yeah. And the Bible tells us living wisely is living rightly, right. In God's eyes.

Terry Steen:

Yeah. And if you have that source, if you have the Bible, which is inspired by God's Holy Word, we have the spirit within us that can give us the knowledge and wisdom we need to live each day and make our decisions. Last week, I was talking to a neighbor of mine. And she was very distraught, she had a big decision to make, and she didn't know what to do. And in that discussion, I've talked to her a little bit, a day or two before and told her I'd pray for and told her that God could help her I believe that God could reveal the answer to her and give her peace. And in that process, she said, Well, I was in I was thinking about contacting someone, a hypnosis person to try to hypnotize me. Oh, my, and it just reinforced in and made me realize where our world is without God. And where do they search? If they don't have the word as their base? They're searching everywhere. They're trying to get someone else to get into my head to tell me what's in there to make a decision. I mean, how, no wonder you're anxious. No wonder you're depressed. No wonder you're stressed. No wonder you don't know what to do and where to turn. There's only one place to turn isn't there? It's true.

Brian Roland:

And one thing I read in the book here that it really hit home to me, especially during this section that we're talking about, it says, We cannot be wise apart from God. God is the standard, the definition, the source and the keeper of all wisdom. Why isn't that the truth till we get away from it? That's when you see how foolishness sets in.

Dan Wheeler:

But it is, James 317 says, but the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Wisdom is God created God given God fearing God oriented. And boy, I think with all this stuff going on, on the internet, it's just it's, we need to tune it out. We need to be focused, and I want to talk to our producer because he's a lot younger than us guys. You know, we're in our 60s, maybe Brian is in his 70s. He might be we can confirm that we have to check with our fact checkers. But he can deny nor confirm. John Matarazzo you're 37 and you've grown up more in this era of digital information, social media, internet, have you found that it's a challenge for you to keep your mind focused on what's right and to kind of control screen time.

John Matarazzo:

Oh my goodness. Yeah, one of the most humbling things that I get a notification on my phone every week, that shows me my screen time, it shows me how much how much time I've spent per day. And now that all my devices are, you know, I have a MacBook Pro, a Mac computer at work, I've got my iPad, I've got my apple, iPhone, like all of these things, it combines all that. And that's like, I'm spending sometimes eight hours a day in front of a screen. And I'm like, no wonder I can't focus on it. Yeah, right. And so I, there's times where I intentionally try to set a timer on my phone and put it on the other side of the room, just so that I can have some peace and quiet for myself. And obviously try to get that time with the Lord to, but even the Bible is on on my phone. Yeah, the Bible app, and the devotion that I use is on my phone. So it's, it's driving you to be distracted all the time. So it's nice that it's with me, but at the same time, it's it just, it distracts me and pulls me away. So I have to limit myself.

Dan Wheeler:

Yes, sir. As soon as I turn my volume on on my phone in the morning, and flip the sound, man, it starts pinging at me and it's wanting my attention. It's calling to us. But I always make it a point to read my Bible app, the verse of the day first, and then go into my devotional and Bible before I do any of that. Now, there are some good uses for the Internet and for our phones. And you know, glad you mentioned that, John, because fearless Faith Ministries is one of them. And John has a podcast that is excellent, too called along the way, which I hope you'll listen to you can find it on the podcast network or wherever you get your podcast. But so we're using this tool and trying to put some good out there because guys, let's face it, it is the marketplace. It's where people are. And with our phone, we have the capacity. Now we have over 35,000 followers on Facebook. We're closing in 110,000 downloads on our, our podcast here, and then YouTube and all these things. But we're going to talk about next week, some good uses of it. But how you have to be focused when you go in there. Because if you don't have a plan, all these voices all these forces are pulling at you. Brian, how do you control it? I just got to ask you guys real quickly here. We're getting near the end of this podcast. But it's we have to control it. Or like John said, we're spending eight hours a day on a screen.

Brian Roland:

Well, I agree with John, I get this pops up telling my screen time and I'm amazed. I tried to see if my next one would come in saying you're down this week. I keep trying to push towards that. But it happened to me before we moved, actually that I quit watching the news for one thing on TV on my on my phones, everything on my computer. I just quit doing that. Because that took up so much of my time. Just watching that and then getting in arguments with the TV set or wouldn't my iPad I was planning

Dan Wheeler:

your wedding, because you get the last word.

Brian Roland:

That's it. But it wasn't you know, it wasn't making me any smarter, that's for sure. And it was ruining my day more than anything else. And taking me away from my time with God. And that was one thing for sure that I I knew that it was just a time served, you know, just taking so much time away. So I had to learn to put that aside and changed and changed my way of thinking when I was going to use the device or not.

Dan Wheeler:

Boyd's true Terry, do you have any quick advice about how to keep from that it's almost like a rabbit hole of, of social media. You can go down?

Terry Steen:

Yeah, yeah. The interesting comment in the book that said the antidote to dangerous distractibility. We're talking about being distracted. Its purpose, focus and intention. And in Proverbs 425, it says, Let your eyes look straight ahead. So I try to focus on intention. I'm trying to be more intentional throughout the day to schedule the things I need to schedule and to be active and only allow myself to sit and have access to those things at a specific amount of time in the day. So I think intentionality is going to be the key, because if we're not, it's a default, isn't it? default mechanism? Well,

Dan Wheeler:

we want to finish strong in our lives and we don't want to be spending all this time. needlessly. The Bible says Redeeming the time, for the days are evil, and they really are. And a verse that I'd like to leave everyone with is Psalm 4610. Be still and know that I am God. You can't be still with all this noise up there. I'll use another big word, the cacophony? Well, cacophony, I think often cacophony means a lot of noise. We need to filter it out. We've talked about a lot of things today, how our brains are being rewired by social media, how there's been a death of truth, because each person is its own has become their own authority. And they're looking within for truth. And our society knows no truth. You can't tell who the fact checkers are and what the facts are anymore. So remember, wisdom, seek it. No God's word, know His truth. I hope that inspires you today. We so appreciate you joining us for another edition of finish strong. And we hope to see you next time and remember, give us a review if you want and share this with other friends and family who you think need to hear about it. Maybe it's your kids, your grandkids. Maybe it's you God bless we'll see you next time.

John Matarazzo:

Thank you for listening to finish strong. For more information about finish strong and fearless faith. Check out their website@faith.org Make sure that you write and review this podcast to help more people accomplish their God given purpose so that together we can finish strong