I’ve been watching Seventh Heaven. Hulu makes it easy to binge watch television shows from years ago. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’ve made it through six seasons in little over a week and it’s made me start thinking about my life. What kind of life am I living that I can watch six seasons of a T.V. show in barely more than a week? What kind of life do I have if that’s what my daily desire is? The answer is: not much of one.
Life has become something we, as a society, float through until we can get to our next dose of mindless entertainment. Jobs used to be about cultivating a career for ourselves. One that will provide for a family through the years. One that will make us feel fulfilled, successful, happy. Now, jobs are necessary evils that provide those sheets of green paper with which we pay for the ability to return to our television shows, social media, et cetera. Ensuring the lights stay on, the air conditioner can run in the summer, the heater can function in the winter, and our children can stay fed are things that have slid down our list of priorities. People now pay their Internet bill before any other, as if that is the one thing we can’t live without. We’ve forgotten that we lived, not that long ago, without the ability to access the Internet anytime from any place. Road maps were how people found their way. Then came MapQuest. I can remember printing out directions and memorizing them so I wouldn’t have to look at anything except for the road while I was driving. Now, my IPhone is between my hands atop my steering wheel telling me where to turn. I no longer have to think about North, South, East, or West because Siri simply tells me left, right, or straight and I blindly follow her orders. I take orders from a phone. I don’t think for myself. I don’t use common sense to find answers to questions; I use google. These things have made life easier is so many ways, but are they making life better?
In church every Sunday I can spot at least ten teenagers and probably five adults on their phones. Whether the priest is reading us the gospel or we’re patiently waiting to receive communion, people’s attention drift to their phones at some point during that one hour. That one hour in which people used to dress their best, put a smile on their faces, speak friendly to their neighbors and reflect upon their lives and the word of God has now become just another mandatory part of life. It has become just another obligation we must force ourselves to sit through while really wishing we could be flipping through attractive people’s pictures on Tinder or scrolling down our Facebook news feed drinking in the lives of people we probably never actually speak to. When did the good things in life become inconvenient? Freedom of religion is something people fought to their deaths for and now we squander it by either not focusing our attention while in church or not attending church at all. The ability for women and minorities to hold jobs is something society used to be grateful for and now, we complain about having to wake up in the morning to go sit in an office for eight hours a day. People seem to have stopped actively striving for success. We’ve settled for mediocrity. And those of us who are striving for something seem only to be striving for a larger bank account balance.
What happened to passion? What happened to the love of life? What happened to getting down on our knees and thanking God for giving us another twenty four hours with which we have the ability to do anything? What happened to using those twenty four hours to enrich our lives? What happened to making the world around us a better place? What happened to one voice speaking out among the masses and calling attention to societies’ fallacies? What happened?