Empty Your Mind of the Bad

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Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.1
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,2
I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.3

Introduction

The modern world is to full of meaningless and wicked distractions. That is what video games, movies, songs, books, the news, etc. have become, and it is what social media always was. As Ted Kaczynski points out in paragraph 147 of his famous 1995 manifesto, Industrial Society and Its Future,

"Entertainment provides modern man with an essential means of escape. While absorbed in television, videos, etc., he can forget stress, anxiety, frustration, dissatisfaction." Many primitive peoples, when they don't have work to do, are quite happy to sit for hours at a time doing nothing at all, because they are at peace with themselves and their world. But most modern people must be constantly occupied or entertained, otherwise they get "bored," i.e., they get fidgety, uneasy, irritable."
While I do not believe people literally sat still, doing or thinking of nothing for hours, Kaczynski is correct in stating that they did not have to be preoccupied with something. Having quiet moments to one's self to think, pray, and consider what is best to do next (like exercise or enjoy a hobby like woodworking) are things that pre-industrial peoples did daily, and things that we are lucky to have done annually.

Social Media & Snapchat

Snapchat is one of the worst offenders in this day and age of being wicked content for consumption, although the following mostly applies to Instagram as well. The main appeals for one (usually in high school or college) to install Snapchat (or Instagram) are sexual and social.

Snapchat and Instagram have a duopoly as being the place all your friends will post all the quirky and wacky shenanigans that happen throughout the day. Nearly all young people have some sort of social anxiety (which is worsened by apps like this), so they do not want to miss out on anything. Thus leading them to spend hours catching up on what restaurants their "friends4" went to (and worrying why they themselves weren't invited).

As a primal instinct, men love to look at sexually attractive women, and women love attention for their sexual attractiveness. This is not sinful. God created sex and sexual attractiveness as a gift for both man and woman5.

However, Social Media Corporations pervert this God-given gift for money. Snapchat is more exciting than texting for young males, because every message is a picture, meant to be a selfie. And if they snap a girl their age for long enough (encouraged through snap streaks), then eventually they will get an arousing picture. Young women are aware of this power and use it for attention and status, by being able to snap the most popular guys.

One might state, "These aspects of the sexual dynamic are not exclusive to social media at all." This is true, but it encourages it in a negative way. In the world before social media had taken over (approx. 2005 and earlier), if a young man was attracted to a young women, and, assuming they live in a society where rape is illegal and recognised truthfully as wrong, he must spend time with her and win her affection. He must show charisma, compassion, and generosity for her, which slowly grows with their relationship, as well as demonstrate competancy, strength, and valor. For the man to continue his pursuit of this young lady, she must return his affection with a similarly crescendoing loyalty and respect, and she must demonstrate grace, beauty, and purity.

All of this is taken away with Social Media. All forms of intimacy, mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, are lost for an ingenuous dopamine rush.

Aside: Medieval Marriage

As an aside, many a modern man's conception of Medieval Marriage is all wrong. I was taught in school that it was loveless and political and socio-economical in nature only. While some marriages were purely political (especially towards the end of the middle ages) such as the marriage 6 of Ferdinand II of Aragon 7 to Isabella of Castile to unite Spain, historically we cannot say that this was the case throughout.

Even my high school history teachers (who taught me that medieval marriage was loveless) cannot argue that Theology was extremely important to Medieval culture and living. The Medieval theology, even to my surprise, held marriage and the love between a man and a woman in such high regard. I must recommend Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages by Fabian Parmisano. Parmisano goes into much greater detail than I ever could.

The union between husband and wife is also amiable, a word which connotes 'friendship', 'love', 'delight', and so much more to Oresme's thinking, as is evident from his long and engaging explication of it.

His text reads that men and women marry not only that they might survive and live but that they might be more fully (bien estre) and live a better life (bien vivre). 8

Here is a word from St. Bonaventure, also included in the same article.
Man and woman, according to the nature and properties of their respective sexes, were so made that they might he united to one another and thus have rest and support in and through each other. Because, therefore, man and woman are joined to each other by a strong and singular bond (forti vinculo et singulari) , one sex was produced from another. Because that union gives man rest (dat viro quietationem) the woman was taken from man while he slept. Because a man is a woman's strength and support it is said that the woman was made from his bone. And because in all these things there is a certain equality in a shared society (quaedam aequalitas mutuae societatis), the woman was taken not from any old bone, but from the man's rib and from his side. 9

Let these examples serve as a reminder of what we have been distraced from this Age, and give hope that we can have it again.

Brief Conclusion

This lengthy post warrants a second part, but for now I leave you with this.

Footnotes

1 Philippians 4:8 KJV

2 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV

3 Psalm 101:3 NASB

4 A few of the people young folk follow on social media may be real friends, but it is common for them to have hundreds or even thousands of followers. While some of these thousands may be celebrities or meme/interest accounts, not real people, it is encouraged and still common to follow anyone and everyone you have met in real life.

5 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Genesis 2:24-25 KJV

6 They lived in seperate palaces.

7 Look at this nerd.

8 Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages: Page 3

9 Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages: Page 9

10 Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in lifeā€”this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 NLT