Posted by: Michelle Knoll | September 29, 2014

The Addiction of Knowing

America?  We have a problem.

Well, actually, it’s a problem for the entire world.  But I think we suffer from it the most.

Put down your cell phones, your iPhones, your tablets, your MP3 players, and walk away from your game stations.  But keep reading.  So, yeah, if you’re reading this on one of those, don’t walk away.  Not just yet.  Walk away after you’ve read this.

Do you ever wonder why news channels are watched so much?  Why some people leave their TVs on a news station all day long?  Why people listen to talk radio all the time?  Why people are on Facebook all the time?  Why people are tweeting… all the time???

Because we can’t, and we won’t, walk away.  We have to know.  That next tweet, that next post, that next message, that next news blurb (which probably really isn’t news, but just someone’s dumb opinion), we have to know what’s being said.  We have to know.

We’re addicted.  To knowing.  Yes, it’s an addiction.  We can’t stop, because we’ve decided that knowing is more important than living.  We have to know.  We must know!

And then we pass it all along.  We see something that everyone must know about, and we become news stations ourselves!  We just have to pass it along!  Copy and paste!  Retweet! Send a message with a link!  Post on the message board on xBox Live or Playstation Network.  Post on Facebook.  Send an email.

But we just… can’t… stop.  Because if we could, we would.

And the world goes on by.  It passes us right by.  Our kids, our neighbors, our church congregations, our lives, pass us, right on by.

Do you know that the leaves have started turning colors in most states?  Do you know where, in your city, the leaves are the most beautiful?  Have you stopped staring at a screen long enough to recognize the beauty out there in those leaves?  Or are you just irritated at the fact that now you have to wear a sweater most mornings (if you live in that sort of area where the temperature is starting to cool)?

Do you notice the areas you drive through on your way to work?  On the way to the store?  On the way to church?  Or is the person talking on the radio more important than life happening around you?

When’s the last time you actually talked to someone face to face, and not through text messaging?  For more than three sentences?  For more than “yeah,” “I know,” “okay — see ya”?

Do you know your kids’ favorite foods?  What are they?

Do you know your spouse’s favorite way to escape stress?  What is it?

Do you know what a book is?  Name the last book you read that was more than 150 pages in length.

When’s the last time you watched the sun set, all the way down behind the horizon?

When’s the last time you stopped… all the noise… in your life.  The iPod, the cell phone, the TV, the game system, the laptop, the iPad.

Silence.  Is amazing.

Silence is where we gather our thoughts, become creative, get back in touch with real life, hear someone else who’s trying to talk to us.

It’s where we rest.

Okay.  Here’s your assignment:  turn off everything.  Turn it off!  Tell your kids to do the same.  Pull out a book, and read together.  Go outside and take a walk, together!  Pull out a board game (remember those?).  Rediscover your life together!

And then report back here, and tell me how it goes.  I want to hear from you!

We can only stop an addiction, if we first admit we’re addicted, and then determine we will kick this addiction.  And yes, we will fail.  We will fall back into bad habit patterns.  But we have to keep trying.  We MUST keep trying.

Our futures depend on it.



  1. I agree totally with your premise. However, as a single (widowed) female whose children and grandchildren live too far away to share a book or anything else except by all this technology, I am not thinking I will step that far away. I am active in my church where I use my computer for lessons, Bible study, craft projects (Pinterest) and running a Facebook page for our Church. There is no one to talk to at home, until I invite you all into my home, to share your joys, your pain, your concerns, your fears. We laugh, talk, counsel, comfort, encourage and pray together because not only the face page is there, but so are private messages. Technology can be a wonderful thing. Just keep living the life God has given you and witnessing where ever you can!

    • Oh, Enid, I totally understand where you’re at.

      This article came after months of watching people in stores, in restaurants, even at ballgames, and even at church! People are always on their phones, checking some tweet or Facebook post, or looking at memes, or texting someone, or playing some game. People are barely communicating with those right around them! It can be very disheartening to see people totally ignoring the world that is nearby, for a world that is so far away. And I began to ask myself, why? What is the pull that keeps people hooked to their phones, their laptops, to cable news and talk shows? We just can’t seem to get enough. We just have to know the “news.” And then we feel we must share the “news.” And so, we stay hooked.

      But you are using technology for God’s glory, and in a balanced way to stay connected to those you love. Keep going! And may God bless you as you minister to others through media!

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