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Monday, March 23, 2009
Addictions / Time Wasters
When I wrote the post Bloggers Anonymous, I promised that I would write a more serious post, about the same subject, at a later date.
Since the past week has brought so much deep reflection in other areas, I'm not yet up to going deep in the Internet Addiction topic. However, I just found a couple of posts that I think you would enjoy. Make sure to read the comments following both blog posts, as you will see that this is a very serious topic, and one that we each need to look at in our own lives, to see clearly where we fit.
Kimba has THIS to say about keeping our priorities right.
While I do spend quite a bit of time reading and writing blog posts, I do not believe that, for me, there are any serious changes that need to be made at this time. I am not neglecting my husband or my children. (Just look back at all of the Family Fun posts, to see what keeps me busy.) As a homeschooling mama, I could spend every single minute of every single day serving my family. But, I believe it is actually healthy for the whole family for mom to be able to have a little area of her life that is "just for me" ...
... It's okay to want to have friends.
... It's okay to use the internet for a creative outlet.
... It's wonderful to be able to minister to others
through this blogging world.
I also know that my addiction is NOT "out of hand". I can and do set boundaries for my internet usage.
When we were out of town this week, our cute little Inn had wireless internet in the room. I did take my laptop. I did check my emails a couple of times per day. (We did not have cell phone reception in the room, so we told the kids they could email us if needed.) Through my email, I was able to read the sweet comments that you all posted regarding my last, very difficult, post. But, I did NOT read all of your blogs. So sorry! I checked in on a couple of blogs where I knew the families were walking through difficult times (so that I could pray, if there were updates). However, I knew that I could catch up with the rest of you this week. (And, I've been home over 24 hours and I still haven't felt the need to check all of your blogs. You ARE important to me ... but I know that your blogs will still be here tomorrow and next week.)
Also, our family heads to the Christian Renewal Center in Oregon for several weeks per year. When we are there, we have no internet or cell phone service; and, it's WONDERFUL. I LOVE those weeks with no technology. While there is a coffee shop a 20 minute drive away (with wireless internet), I have never been there. (Alas, though, my adult children do pay it a visit once or twice per week ... so, maybe I haven't taught them very well in this area. But, I try to teach by example.)
I do want to mention, though, that while I do spend a bit of time in the blogging world, there are other places that I have made the conscious choice NOT to spend my time.
... I do NOT watch t.v., (except on the occasional weekend away with my dear hubby).
... I very rarely watch movies. (Maybe once a month, but usually not even that often.)
... I do NOT have a Facebook account (much to the disappointment of my adult children and many friends). I know this is something that I could get addicted to, and I believe that my time is much better spent ministering to others (and being ministered to) through the Blogging World.
... I have NEVER been on eBay. I've met a few women addicted to that.
... I used to check Craigslist every day, but haven't looked at it in months. If I NEED something, I'll take a look. But, I will NOT visit Craigslist just to see what "amazing deals" I can find.
... We do NOT have handheld video games, Play Station, wii, or X-Box in our home. All of these can be extreme "time wasters".
... Only 1 or 2 friends even know my cell phone number. It is used primarily for family communication. If my friends want to chat, they can either call me on my home number, or send me an email. I do NOT need to make myself available to every person every minute of every day.
... I do NOT text message family and friends. (I've sent less than 10 text messages in my life, and they were responses to family that texted me.) I believe that voice communications (actually TALKING to people) is MUCH preferable to texting. Yet, I know people that literally send thousands of text messages each month.
... I do NOT have an iPhone, so I canNOT check my emails throughout the day, wherever I happen to be. I do have an iPod Touch (which I got free with purchase of my computer); but, I do NOT take it with me so that I can access my emails from a coffee shop. Actually, I don't even know how; and I've never even connected to the internet with it. I just have a few songs on it, and I played Tetris on it during my 24+ hour trip to and from Argentina last September.
And, again, while I have tried to teach by example, my adult children do ... have iPhones and X-box; they do text message a LOT; they do have Facebook; and they sometimes watch television and movies that I wouldn't watch. But, the reality is that this just shows that we EACH need to seek the Lord for what He would want for each of our individual lives. I can teach by example, and share concerns if I have them, but each of my children has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and I must trust that He will now lead and guide them in these everyday decisions.
While I may be hanging out with my blogging friends a few hours per day ... for ME ... it's "okay". But, it wouldn't be "okay" if I was doing it in addition to all of the other above listed "addictions" that people can allow to control their lives.
I hope that each of you will take some time to really analyze the time that you spend and/or that your family spends on each of the listed areas, and seek the Lord to see if there are any changes that He wants you to make.
Do I have my priorities straight every day?
Should I spend more time on my
relationship with the Lord?
Should I get out and exercise more?
(However, this IS an area that can become an idol in some people's lives.)
Have I come a long ways since the days of my
Soap Opera addiction?
(As mentioned in my Bloggers Anonymous post?)
So, let me know ...
What are the areas of "addiction" that you struggle with?
What has the Lord taught you about those "addictions"?
What choices do you need to make, this week,
in order to get your priorities more in line
with the Lord's priority list for your life?