Rickets and Abortion

I read something this week that said every blog post should have a catchy title. So there you go, I’ve now fulfilled that requirement.

My alternate title was “What I found interesting this week,” and I found two topics particularly intriguing, the first one deals with rickets (sort of) and the second abortion.

The Kaiser Family Foundation released a study this week detailing media usage among teens and “tweens.” The New York Times discussed it in an article entitled “If Your Kids Are Awake, They’re Probably Online.” I’d encourage you to check it out.

Here are the basic results:

  • Young people today spend on average 7.5 hours per day engaged in media (cell phones, iPods, TV, computers, video games, print, etc.).
  • Including multi-tasking (listening to music while on internet, for instance), they’re getting nearly 11 hours of media per day.
  • The only thing they spend more time doing – sleeping.
  • Of those hours, 38 minutes is spent reading (basically all other specific types of media are more consumed now than 5 years ago…except for reading, down from 43 minutes in 2004).

In a related article, England is reporting a resurgence of rickets in young people. Yes, rickets. The disease generally caused by a vitamin D deficiency found in impoverished countries. Why? Scientists are hypothesizing that it’s due to inactivity and lack of sun exposure in teens and “tweens” who play video games, watch TV, and cruise the internet most of the day.

I don’t have a huge soapbox to jump on, but here are a few observations.

1. It’s quite common for younger generations to exaggerate or take to extremes practices of older generations. Things tend to snowball over time. Is this generation rampantly excessive in their media consumption? I think you have to say yes. But while we (older generations) are not as excessive, surely we got the ball rolling (and continue to keep it rolling) in many ways. How has our modeling in terms of habits, entertainment obsessions, and media consumption, affected the younger generations?

2. Why aren’t we teaching discipline, self-control, and time management better to young people? Once again, my hunch is that it’s because we tend to struggle (maybe to a lesser degree…but struggle nonetheless) with the same things.

3. This is a big problem. One that can’t be fixed overnight, and one that none of us can fix on a large scale. But we can make changes in our little spheres. All of us should model healthy perspectives on entertainment and media consumption. If you have kids, set boundaries and limitations. Teach them good habits, self-control, discipline. An hour a day, 2 hours a day, whatever. Be thoughtful in your parenting. And finally, pray. Keith blogged recently about God working when we pray. This is a big problem in young people that could get worse. Only God is big enough to fix it entirely. So pray that he would.

Now that we’ve discussed rickets, on to my second thought.

Here’s a powerful commentary regarding some working in the abortion industry. I tend to try not to harp too much on being pro-life, both in this blog and in life. I figure that as Christians there are myriad political and social issues we should pay attention to, not just abortion.

But as I read this a few days ago, I was saddened by the fact that abortion had largely faded from my consciousness the past few months. Guess that’s what happens when you don’t have a big election for a while. But that’s not acceptable. No matter where you fall on the issue, as Christians we shouldn’t simply forget about it temporarily because it isn’t on the news quite as much. Shame on me.

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