In the 2009 book, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupeﬁes Young Americans and Jeopardizes our Future, Emory University English Professor, Mark Bauerlein, explores the intellectual advancements that have yielded our now robust technological savvy age. He notes that despite such advancements, the beneﬁciaries of this age display no greater well-rounded intellectualism or critical resourcefulness in the areas of literature, history or civics. Whereas our readily available technological resources have the ability to enhance intellectual activity, the digitized platform has become a self-gratifying end unto itself. Such platforms have overly consumed the minds, attention and activity of younger generations mostly interested in self-entertainment and gratiﬁcation. Social media and texting primarily are used in deﬁning and disclosing personal identities and habits, or relied upon for interacting with others. From smart-phones to smart-televisions and cars, the necessity of critical thinking, cultivating ideas, being resourceful, and engaging in meaningful human interaction has become derelict. These deﬁciencies deﬁne our current culture and times as normative realities.
By extension, meaningful thought, relational concern, and the practice of religious faith continue to subside. Instantaneous gratiﬁcation has devalued human relationships, healthy human ﬂourishing and healthy thinking. Truth, reality, and godly faith are increasingly becoming obsolescent. It is as if the rational mind and heart has become self-co-opted into a reprobate reality.
The value of our current digitized age is in recognizing its ability to convey, as a platform, meaningful content beyond mere knowledge. Unfortunately, this type of content has to be researched and sought out. I, myself, have produced a month-long Black History show on Face Book entitled “10 For 28,” where Black History lessons were given daily throughout the month of February.
View the programs at the following links: https://www. facebook.com/jamaldominique/videos/10156255744493679/ and https://www.facebook. com/jamaldominique/videos/10156320848243679/). Other meaningful content can be found on YouTube formats including authentic blues music from the Fattback Bluesman (https://www. youtube.com/ channel/ (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUSLrE3FN3M6Mmn OM0MuQMw) or Christian think-tank content from the Seymour Institute (https://www. youtube.com/channel/UCArW-dB-o-xv1ypXhoO7eBg).
While the task of promoting intellectual currents, historical content, meaningful ideas, and religious faith on digital platforms may seem monumental, the responsibility of not producing such content will lead to an even greater consequential future crisis.
[Rev., Jamal-Dominique Hopkins (Ph.D., University of Manchester, United Kingdom) is a published author, scholar and Christian minister who has lectured or presented work at such institutions as Boston University, Princeton Theological Seminary, Emory University’s Graduate School of Religion, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), the University of Manchester (England), and the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). He was a keynote panelist at the T. D. Jakes’ 2017 Pastor and Leadership Conference and has recently written “The Shaping and Inﬂ uence of King’s Political Theology and Worldview,” in Telos: Martin Luther King, Jr. Fifty Years On (Spring 2018). You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.]