Silent Nights

December 27, 2009

According to a CNET article (Dec 23), Harris Interactive Poll reports that the average Internet user is on-line 13 hours per week.

The average number of hours that people spend online each week has grown over the years, hovering at 7 hours from 1999 through 2002, 8 or 9 hours from 2003 through 2006, and 11 hours in 2007.

The jump in time spent in cyberspace likely stems from a few factors, according to Harris. More people are comfortable using the Internet. More of them are shopping and watching TV online. In addition, the number of Web sites and online applications has increased.

To which, the president of Stephens College responds by inviting students to put away their digital contraptions and revive the tradition of contemplative evening vespers.  This from the Washington Post:

But Lynch (president of Stephens) fears all that time spent in the 21st century’s town square leaves few opportunities for clutter-free thought. She wants the students to also pursue the more elusive state of mind that comes with silence.

Several other schools are encouraging technology-free introspection. Amherst College in Massachusetts hosted a “Day of Mindfulness” this year, featuring yoga and meditation and a lecture on information technology and the contemplative mind entitled “No Time to Think.”

Peace on Earth and silent nights!

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