Your Baby Can READ!!!! Really?

The other day as I perused my Facebook feed (a rarety anymore), I noticed a video of an 18 month old who was presented with a set of cards containing words all in the same font. The parent would say a word from the cards and the baby would find the card. The baby was amazing to say the least. Be it word recognition or sounding out the words, it was GREAT!

Underneath the video was a comment. “That baby can’t read. It’s just recognizing the shape of the words.” (Isn’t that how most people read when they get good at it?) “Babies don’t need to read. If you want to parent well, take that baby outside and play with them.”

REALLY?! Did you just watch a baby “read” and then JUDGE THE PARENT!?!

Why do we feel that it is our job to judge other parents? Why do we look at that way that people are raising little humans and feel like we need to put in our two cents for EVERYTHING?

That parent spent alot of time with their child. They spent QUALITY TIME with their child in order to teach them how to “read.” They feed the child. The child is having fun! Get over yourself!

Several years back, there was a scandal going around the social media sites about a woman who had called the cops on her young son for stealing a Pop Tart out of the pantry. People had signs on her street stating that it was just a Pop Tart and the kid was just hungry. REALLY?!

Why is it our business why that mom called the cops? Why did the media have to nit pick that mom? We have no idea what was going on inside that home. What if she was a single mom? What if her son was getting to the point where she could not physically control his actions anymore and she was basically implementing a criminal prevention program? What if she had told that kid, “No more Pop Tarts today. You may have an apple.” What cop would rather wait until a kid is sticking a gun in his waist band and threatening shop owners rather than maybe… just maybe, help that mom teach her child a lesson about obedience and what can happen when you don’t follow the rules when they are young and nothing is going on anyone permanent record. Is a mom going to starve and abuse her child and then call the cops on him?

I’m not denying that there are crazy people in this world. But I am saying that social media has presented a way to criticize and pick apart situations we have no business picking apart.

What do you think? Is there a place for conversation that judges the actions of parents on social media or in the news? At what point do we put down our pitchforks and realize that people are human and social media does not make it ok to blast others for their parenting?

Is Listening to Hard?

Yesterday I put forth a theory that media may be a contributing factor to killing off the community of the church and society as a whole. Today I want to add to that theory: Has media created a society that doesn’t want to listen?

Specifically I want to address church. I have noticed that many kids are telling me that church is boring because they are just preached at and then they leave. When do they get to contribute? Church has largely been a model where one person spoke from the front in one way or another for the majority of its existence so why are kids saying this and not only kids but young adults and indeed… older adults as well? Has church really changed that much or has society changed that much?

I believe it is the latter. Media has created an idea that either you are being entertained with television or your social interaction is limited to 140 characters (let’s be honest, who reads longer FB posts than that in their entirety?) We have become a society that can skim and judge and put out our opinions with the touch of a screen. Everyone has something to contribute but no one cares about what other’s have to say. If it isn’t a meme or a photo, it’s not going to get nearly as many “likes” or “hits.” This is not conducive to active listening. In fact, the slew of media that are introduced to our young people at such a formative age does not train them to listen and that, I believe is contributing in a huge way to the decline of our culture in church.

So the question is, does the church change to fit the times and create a whole new model based on the idea of allowing everyone to contribute and no one to listen? Are Twitter churches in our future? Is personal community where we look in peoples eyes and listen to what they say and pray for an attitude of understanding during a service to hard to maintain in our Instagram world?

Did Media Kill The Church?

So I was reading this article/email thing that I ran across and found it very interesting. I don’t know that I agree with the conclusion completely but…

Did media kill the church? The author proposes that media and the growing consumption of it is the real reason people are leaving the church and I think he might be kinda right. I mean, media is not inherently bad but there are two reasons I think he might be on to something:

1. Television has presented an idea of human connection that is unrealistic. All disagreements (aside from Ross and Rachel’s “break” which never really resolved itself) are wrapped up in a neat little package in 24 minutes (if you are binge watching on Netflix), and sleeping with your friends brother and then your friend and then maybe your other friend doesn’t really make things awkward. Roommates move here and there. Jobs are not all consuming and eating Chinese food together every night is totally normal and doesn’t kill your wallet. Who wants to make the effort to go to church or build relationships when you can just sit in your yoga pants and feel like “everybody knows your name” all weekend on the couch. Who wants to engage when it is easier to disengage?

2. We are over connected. Smartphones have made access to Facebook, Twitter, Google and texting not just easy but intuitive. I’m not saying we should stop using social media but who needs to have a conversation when it’s possible to just post something online and just wait for a response? Who wants to have to LISTEN to someone else express an opinion when you can just barely scan the top three lines of someones post and then judge them in the comments? Why bother making a coffee date and keeping it when you can just sit in your yoga pants (see reason #1)?

So really, I think there might be something to this Millennials leaving the church because of media thing after all. I would even put forth that not only are they leaving the church, but they are leaving society as a whole in droves.

What do you think? Have Millennials fallen prey to binge watching and living in a fantasy world? Has media killed churches and society as a whole?