Here are your latest links to help you detox your digital life. More digital detox resources here.

8 Lies to Reject in Overcoming Lust and Pornography

  1. “You’re the only one facing this struggle.”
  2. “Read your Bible and pray every day, and the temptation will go away.”
  3. “Accountability will make the difference.”
  4. “A filter or block on your devices will protect you from a fall.”
  5. “It’s okay if it’s not hardcore porn.”
  6. “Get married, and the problem will disappear.”
  7. “You’ll grow out of the struggle as you get older.”
  8. “If you didn’t go looking for porn, you’re not as responsible.”

Click through for exegesis.

The Good News about New Brain Disorders | Amy Simpson
Amy analyzes the impact that technology is having upon our brains and our ability to function. She notes how most people don’t think much about brain-health

Most of us aren’t in the habit of thinking about, let alone intentionally caring for, the health of our brains. Those who are in such habits are likely to be people who study brains for a living (people like neurologists and psychiatrists, not zombies) or people who have had something go seriously wrong with their brains, to the point where it interfered with their ability to function. Their experience has convinced them their brains are worth nurturing deliberately…. As we learn more and more about how our brains work, and what they need, we may begin to think differently about taking them for granted.

But she also sounds an optimistic note:

But I didn’t start writing this to issue a warning; I wanted to share hope. There is good news here, in the changeability (plasticity) of our brains. Just as our environment and experiences can have a detrimental effect on our brains, they can have a healing effect. We can make choices that promote health in our brains–even when our brains are already disordered. In fact, that’s one of the reasons good therapists can be so helpful–they help us find new ways of thinking and adapting to our realities. As a coach, I know my work can have this effect too, even though it is not designed to heal or treat mental health problems. Our brains really can learn to be healthier as we treat them well.

Assessment: How Mindful Are You?
Did you know that people spend almost 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, which impairs their creativity, performance, and well-being? The Harvard Business Review provides a questionnaire to help us gauge our ability to focus, a mental skill that is becoming as important as emotional intelligence and technical skills.

On Loneliness and Addictive Technology | New City Commons
This piece links to a number of helpful articles and resources. It highlights a growing  counter-movement within Silicon Valley that encourages developers to attend to human frailty, rather than exploit it.

The attention economy, which showers profits on companies that seize our focus, has kicked off what Harris calls a “race to the bottom of the brain stem.” “You could say that it’s my responsibility” to exert self-control when it comes to digital usage, he explains, “but that’s not acknowledging that there’s a thousand people on the other side of the screen whose job is to break down whatever responsibility I can maintain.

You can join the movement here.

Penns restaurant gives discount to phone-free diners | Daily Mail Online
Sarah’s Corner Café in Stroudsburg has started offering 10 percent off checks if families can go without checking their phones. The restaurant has set up ‘family recharging stations’ at tables so people can drop their phone into a basket before they order. and they get the discount if they can get through the meal without checking them.

The Fearful and Wonderful Art of Flirting | Desiring God
Great piece of analysis and writing from Tony Reinke:

Social media normalizes voyeurism and makes it possible to stare at pictures of attractive people. On social media, perhaps flirtations begin with studying a woman’s picture. She follows you on Twitter or Facebook, or she makes a kind comment. Her interest in you sparks in you a kind of curiosity in her images. You open her profile picture and study it. Your eyes linger on her profile longer than they should. You go to her Facebook or Instagram feed and you scroll for more images. Maybe she has a boyfriend or a husband, but it doesn’t matter. You respond. Maybe it begins with a follow back. And then maybe a direct message, or a text, or an otherwise obscure comment in public, or even something more private.

It’s not hard to imagine how it begins. Soon enough, digital flirting leads to private conversations where you share your dreams and disappointments, your hopes and longings. Soon enough two smartphones have carved out a private space — now you’re on a digital date — and nobody else knows.