That's the question Leonard Pitts, Jr. asks in his most recent column at Jewish World Review. Actually, he doesn't blame this blog in particular. His point is that the vastness of information available is causing us to be less careful readers. We are being forced to trade depths of information (the old days) for quantity of information (not infinite, but pretty close to it).
This is an important issue for a pastor. If you read sermons from several hundred years ago, you find densely worded paragraphs and logical arguments that follow many twists and turns. Today's audience has difficulty following an oral presentation that has three or four main points. People are used to information being transmitted in a few short sound bytes or headlines on a blog.
How should a pastor respond? My own belief is that the pastor should stretch his audience, but do so in a way that ensures that they can succeed. I personally find PowerPoint distracting, but I think most audiences today are used to some media being utilized to communicate information. I've opted recently to use PowerPoint to communicate main points and sub-points during messages to help people follow the flow of an argument. But at the same time, I never (or at least very rarely) use media for "cutesy" things like movie clips or clever clip art. But maybe I should.
(Rambling ahead) This is just one of the many ways I think our paradigms for communication and thought patterns are changing. In meetings, we're all wired, meaning we're in the room with one another but part of us is on the web. Or think about our spatial orientation. Instead of the 4:3 fullscreen orientation on TV screens and computer screens that we have been used to for decades, suddenly everything is a 16:9 ratio. I wonder when this widescreen orientation will transfer to things like books. Are younger kids, who are growing up in a 16:9 widescreen world going to instictively turn 81/2 x 11 paper sideways because they are used to seeing information communicatted in widescreen?
And, as Leonard Pitts, Jr. might ask, are you more stupid for having read this blog? Am I an enabler? Should you have invested this time reading a book instead?