Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

How to Live Wisely in an Internet Addicted World?

11 Comments

DSCN8546What is it about the internet that sucks us in? I sit down for a moment just to check e-mail and before I know it an hour has gone by. I log in for a five minute Facebook check, but those 5 minutes turn into 30. We bring our cell phones to the dinner table, and two texts, one call, and five updates rob us of precious time with the people sitting in front of us.

Technology is a mixed blessing. I love being able to access information, music, or entertainment and stay in touch with my family via the internet. But internet use can easily take on characteristics of addiction, sabotaging our productivity and relationships and even muffling God’s voice in our lives.

This prayer rings out clear and true:

“Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well!” (Psalm 90:12, MSG)

As part of my effort to live wisely and well, this month I’m examining my internet use, so that I can say no to technology overuse and yes to a more effective, fulfilling, life.

More Productivity

My job as a home schooling mother is unpaid and unsung, but it requires concentration and focus. It’s amazing how much more on track I stay when I give the first hours of the day to school with my kids without turning on the internet.

Better Relationships

What would happen if on our next girlfriend date or family dinner we turned off our phones? They create a need to be plugged into updates and available to any interruption, so we miss our chance to invest fully and love on the people in front of us.

Increased Spiritual Sensitivity

Last week I spent a day fasting, and God prompted me to fast from my computer as well as from food. Instead of turning on the internet during free moments, I actually sat down to pray. My spirit came more fully alive, and I felt in-tune with God. When I finally turned on my computer for the first time at 7:00 p.m., I hadn’t missed anything earthshaking.

Honestly, I’m not sure how to tame the internet monster, but here are my thoughts:

  • Commit to time with God and His word every morning BEFORE I turn on my computer.
  • Reserve the first and best hours of the day to working internet-free.
  • Schedule times to open e-mail or social media. (Why be a slave to checking facebook updates?)
  • Preserve the sacredness of family dinner by leaving cell phones in another room.
  • Love on my friends and honor them by unwiring myself during our time together.
  • Turn off technology an hour before bed each evening.
  • Fast from the internet one day a week.
  • Talk to my kids about setting reasonable limits for themselves.

Life goes by quickly, and I want to live wisely and well. I want to say yes to working more effectively, loving on the people in front of me, and making God my number one priority.

What do you think about sane limits on internet use? Do you struggle with this? What solutions work for you?

Advertisements

Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

11 thoughts on “How to Live Wisely in an Internet Addicted World?

  1. Oh, yes, Betsy–I am addicted to checking email and FB. I’ve tried different plans to fast from them but I find it very hard to be consistent. I’ve said all along that FB is an extroverts heaven. I am just too much of a people person who loves to correspond. Oh, Lord, have mercy!!

    • That is funny. FB IS an extrovert’s heaven!I do enjoy keeping up with people I couldn’t normally correspond with, but I really do want to schedule myself better! I’m planning on “fasting” from internet this thursday again. We’ll see how it goes.

  2. I can relate to this. It’s a constant struggle in our house! Here I am, waiting for my son to get out of bed, just “filling in” a few minutes online!
    I’ve set some limits that seem to be working a little better. My kids’ computers may be on only between 2 and 8 pm, and that doesn’t mean they get to use the computers for six straight hours. I try to abide by that, too, although sometimes I have to get online. Also, I’ve been abstaining from Facebook until 7 pm. That seems to make a big difference, although sadly I find I’m losing touch a little with some friends, as that is our primary way to communicate. Yes, even those who live nearby! Life of a homeschool mom. I love the idea of fasting from internet one day a week.
    Blessings!

    • Those are great ideas, Lisa. I especially like the computers between 2 and 8 pm for the kids! What I don’t like is to see them on-line in the MORNING on weekends. It sounds like you have a handle on this! 🙂

  3. I never heard of it before reading the comments here that Facebook is for extroverts. That makes so much sense! I am extremely introverted, and I always found Facebook too uncomfortable to engage in. It never occurred to me why! So I guess I’m the odd woman out here. I love technology, but only so far as it is a tool for work. I could just as happily be without it. No problem. However, my kids are a different story! It is a perpetual struggle trying to limit their use of X-Box, ipods, YouTube, and video games. When they were little, it was easy to limit their use of electronics. Now they’re teenagers, and it’s very difficult to control. I love your idea of “fasting” from electronics! This is an answer to my prayers. Lent begins soon, and I’m going to copy your idea this Lent to make them fast from gaming and videos one day a week. You are a genius,Betsy!

  4. Oh Deborah, you are blessed if you don’t feel the temptation! Maybe it’s one more benefit to being an introvert! 🙂 And I know what you mean about how much more difficult limiting screen time is with teenagers. So hard to control. I really want to talk to mine and see what their thoughts and ideas are.

  5. Betsy, I believe this is something many of us struggle with. Actually, I woke up just this morning thinking about how much time I spend on my phone, kindle, computer. I believe I need to make some changes…not sure what they are yet at this point though. Great post!

  6. hmmm…maybe now i know why this introvert has avoided joining facebook! 😆 i agree – this computer can be an almost mysterious time vacuum – i sit down and before i know it, i find that the clock reads so much later than i thought it was!! 😮 our family did opt to just turn computers off on Sunday, and i do enjoy the rest and the freedom as a result. but your words are a good reminder for me to work toward being even more intentional. thanks Betsy!

  7. Turning it off on Sundays is a great idea. I’m still thinking about Lisa’s suggestion of only having them on between 2 and 8 p.m. Not so much an issue during school, but a great idea for summer.

  8. I so agree and really love the limits you’ve set in place. I sensed that in 2014 I should greatly reduce my blog reading and limit it to a few helpful and wise blogs that I gain encouragement from. I have pulled away from ones that I read and only left in a judgmental spirit, or left feeling like a failure as a mom – it has greatly, greatly helped my thought life and life in the Spirit!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s