Returning to Reality

Three days ago I got caught in a two-hour downpour…of online comedy videos.  But really, it felt like something I couldn’t pull myself out of.  When I finally emerged, my head hurt, my ears felt as though they had cotton in them (I was wearing headphones), and I had this feeling of having been unconscious for all that time.  I went out to get some food and I felt anxious and paranoid.  The first thought in my head once I acknowledged these feelings was how important it is to anchor our lives in reality.  The not-connected-to-computers reality. 

With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia and other popular websites so readily available for social interaction, entertainment and information, it’s easy to forget the real world. 

I recently heard part of a radio show on CBC.  The topic was unplugging – having a technology sabbath – a day free from computers, cell phones, television, etc.  I have tried something like this at home by leaving my computer off for a day or two at a time.  I find that if I don’t turn it on, the lure just isn’t there in the same way.  If I turn it on, even just to check my bank account or send a single email, I’m likely to get pulled into hours of random surfing and constant Facebook checking that only ends with time wasted.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not at the point of wanting to completely give it up.  I like being connected to my friends and family back home through Facebook, being able to do my banking online and find a recipe or bit of information online so easily.  What I’m aiming for right now is reducing my total time on the computer each day.  I don’t need it every hour – I don’t need it every day.  There are weeks where I could go without it at all.  The point is that this constant bombardment of media is just not good for my brain.

I asked God as I fell asleep a few nights ago – what should I be doing?  A simple question but it had a good answer.  The first part was to continue to nurture my family.  The second was to guard my mind.  With all that is available online, it’s all too easy to let your guard down.  With that guard down, the mind gradually becomes numb to sinful behaviour.  It is not my job to judge, but it is my job to keep my own mind and heart pure.  This is enough of a challenge just living in this world, but living in the world within the internet, it becomes even more difficult.

Anyway, ever since this happened, I’ve been meaning to write about it.  I’ve had at least one day since that I left the computer off the whole day, and another day when I didn’t turn it on until very late in the day.  I hope to continue this trend and avoid getting sucked in again.  If you (my readers? I think I still have a few 😉 ) have this problem, let me know if you try what I’ve been doing.  If you have conquered it in the past, let me know what worked for you.  Or just read this and do what you like…I have no visions of grandeur about my blog. 😀


Filed under Faith, Life, in general, The Interweb

4 responses to “Returning to Reality

  1. Anounymous

    I’ve gotten in the habit of not really getting on until the evening, after all my “chores” are done 🙂 Because I too, would get sucked in & before I knew it a few hours had gone by… so far it seems to be working & my family is better off for it 😉

  2. tara lokstet

    I agree with the anxious feeling about getting off the computer. I actually have a friend who’s husband is very addicted to gaming and has depression, and sleep issues. I am sure that this is the reason why. He actually just got a CT scan from getting headaches as well.

    • Katie

      Yeah, I don’t think we were meant to spend so much time staring at a screen taking in so much information, so quickly. In the space of five minutes, we have access to hundreds of news items, pictures, etc. and most people spend hours at a time on it. I get headaches if I stay on too long, too.

  3. Carly

    I agree with you. It’s easy to be overloaded with technology. I actually look forward to getting a house phone and not using my cell phone really for anything other than emergencies. I find that now that I’m not in University anymore doing homework constantly on my computer I am not on it nearly as much. I might check Facebook once a day but I usually am on for about 10-15 minutes and that’s it. That’s quite a bit shorter than normal in the past!

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