As I look back at some of my last posts, I find a common theme regarding being overwhelmed at the internet, this virtual reality we all place ourselves in. This criticism still remains. As modern Americans, we have changed the way we interact with each other, our communication, our relationships, the way we think, and our reality. Have we ever stopped to think just how our constant "connection" to our computers, tablets, and phones is literally changing who we are? Technology has officially dominated our society. What would life be like without Facebook, email, Instagram, Twitter, and our phones? What on earth would we do? Who would we talk to, and *gasp* what would we miss?
When I think about my life without the internet, it is difficult to think about being without this luxury. Daily, I communicate with my friends via the web, print off homeschooling resources, read the news, upload pictures, find dinner recipes, and literally waste up to two hours everyday updating myself on the lives of my friends. What would I do? I believe that we are addicted to the internet. We are addicted to having instant access and information. We are addicted to knowing real time news. We are addicted to keeping up on the details of each others lives while posting the details of our own; it is changing who we are and how we think. If I wasn't spending my quiet mornings surfing the internet, I would read a book, spend longer in prayer, and have a free lap to welcome a child who just woke up. I don't have a Smartphone, I have chosen not to get one because I don't believe that I have the self-control to refrain from being on it too much. When I go to the park, I want to be at the park, not on my phone. Even though I don't have a phone, with all the time that I spend at home, I feel the pull to be on my laptop often. A few quiet minutes? Better check what is going on. My leisure is comprised of scrolling through my favorite websites. Stay-at-home moms, I think we are some of the biggest culprits of internet addiction. Let's face it - long, lonely days at home with our children are tough. I just want escape. I want something exciting outside of the mundane of cleaning messes, changing diapers, and folding laundry. I crave interaction with someone over the age of 7. When (or if) I finally get 20 minutes of down time, I usually feel worse about myself and my day if I have wasted it all on Facebook or Pinterest. There are better ways to spend our time.
With Lent coming, I think it is time for us to truly evaluate our internet usage. Perhaps this Lent, it is time for a technology fast. What would life look like without the internet? What would happen if we only "checked in" for 20 minutes in the evening or every other day? Would we survive? Yes, I think we would; in fact, we would more than survive, I think we would thrive. We would find peace for our souls. We would find time for quiet contemplation. We would read, walk, pray, and reflect more. We would go back to the tangible reality of searching through a recipe book, looking at old photographs, reading a newspaper, or writing a letter. My lap would hold children, not a computer. I want my children to grow up discovering the wide world through books and nature, roaming free in wide open spaces, not confined to a virtual reality; shouldn't I desire the same for myself? Lent is a time of discipline, prayer, fasting, and abstinence to help us along our path towards holiness. May God bless you this Lenten season.
This video certainly gives us a picture of our technology addiction: