more thoughts from Flickering Pixels by Shane Hipps…
The invention of the camera, rotary press and the telegraph birthed the Graphic Revolution. We quickly realized the power of images to generate needs in humans that don’t naturally exist.
Images make us feel rather than think. They pin the logical side of your brain to the back of your skull, which is why image-based advertising is so effective.
Our brains process printed words & images in different ways.
Printed word = left-brain (logic, sequence & categories)
Images = right-brain (intuition & holisitic perception)
What are the consequences of television on our brains?
It has nothing to do with the programming – whether you’ve got a Baby Einstein video playing or the latest in reality TV, it’s the medium, not the content, that changes us. Believe it or not, the flickering mosaic of pixilated light repatterns neural pathways in the brain. These new pathways are simply opposed to the pathways required for reading, writing and sustained concentration.
Reading is brain protein. It demands concentration & sustained neural energy. We develop patience by reading. Televeision invites long periods of focused time too but it encourages a catatonic state rather than an engaged one.
Written words stimulate and liberate the imagination. Images usually captivate our imagination.
When we read something, our imagination fills in the holes. When we see an image, it typically communicates all the details. Our imagination is no longer required.
In a very real way, image culture is eroding and undermining imaginative creativity.
A weakened imagination means it will be increasingly hard for us to solve the problems that confront us on a daily basis. Our minds become lethargic and passive beneath the torrent of images, simply awaiting fresh stimulation.
This malaise even affects what we might call spiritual imagination. This is the kind of daring imagination that helps us expand our experience and understanding of God.
Has the normalcy of image inhibiting our ability to dream big?
Can our brains even see the possibilities of God because we’ve stopped using our imaginations?