Today, we’re talking about screens versus books. Is one better than another? According to some studies, such as this one, cognitive activity, like reading a book, helps to keep our brains healthier. Reading a book forces the brain to remember a variety of characters, timelines, plots and subplots. Also, the printed words found in a book help us to retain details better than digital, according to brain research. Reading a book, as you might imagine, requires reflection and concentration and it helps us to slow down our thoughts and improve our focus. Why is this important to people of faith?
In the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-15), Jesus speaks about a man planting seeds. Some fell on rocky ground and thorn bushes and those seeds did not produce any fruit. Our hearts and minds can be like the rocky ground and thorn bushes. If we cannot focus on the Word of God and the neighbor among us who is in need, then we might be held back from realizing our full potential. Also, when parents read with their children, they are united in a special way. It shows your children that you love them when you make time for reading. You can be physically close – and we all craving human touch more than ever as our virtual encounters have increased. Plus reading to your children, helps them to develop a love for reading as well.
As I think about starting a digital fast on Friday, I wonder how many books I might read during the fast. How much could my mind, heart and soul benefit from slowing down and being able to focus more?
Also, another way to enhance cognitive activity is to tell a joke! So, did you hear about the mathematician who was afraid of negative numbers? He would stop at nothing to avoid them! Good one, right?