Eph 5:15,16 – 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
When I first moved to Dayton I tried a social experiment on myself. I didn’t find an Internet service. I wanted to see what it would be like to live without the Internet at home.
This was motivated because I realized that I wasted a lot of time online. Lots of time on Facebook, lots of time on YouTube, lots of time on ESPN, etc.
I lived a couple minutes walk from the library, so I could go there if I really needed to do something, and I had my smartphone to do basic functions as well.
The main takeaway from that period that lasted a bit over a year was that I read a lot more books than I typically do in a year. I keep track of how much reading I do in a year, and that year I read about double the amount of books that I normally do.
I’ve been thinking about this period again, recently. I’m back to spending a lot of time online, and I feel that it’s a waste of my life. Really, who wants to get to the end of their life and and face how much time they’ve actually spent on Facebook? I don’t watch TV, but that’s not necessary to have a time drain.
How do I get back to that minimized-Internet lifestyle?
I have a roommate now, so getting rid of the Internet isn’t an option. Getting rid of my computer doesn’t solve any problems either, because I need it for my files, for syncing my phone, and doing whatever computer tasks need to be done. It felt like a catch-22. I need my computer, but I don’t want it.
Really, it’s only been this last week that I’ve figured out a solution.
This is how it works: I only use the computer on the weekend. The laptop gets packed away at other times. I’m allowed to use my smart phone for basic web purposes. (For the purposes of this blog, I’ll still be posting. I’ll write on the weekends, or on my phone. Writing is not a part of my life I want to sacrifice in a sacrifice.) I might pull the laptop out for an emergency task, but it gets packed away right after.
This strikes a happy balance in Internet consumption, and has already saved me a lot of time this last week. I’m reading more again, and I’m cutting the computer dependency.
Sometimes sacrifices need to be made in order to live the best life. Life is too short to pour it down the drain of empty content consumption. A rebellion against contemporary culture is necessary to live the life I want to live.
I deleted my Facebook page in 2010 for that reason alone: it was a waste of my time. I was at first hesitant to create an account after hearing some brothers speaking soberly about staying away from places like Myspace and Facebook on several occasions.But as I moved away and to stay in touch friends/family etc, I finally joined. And I literally became addicted to Facebook, though, I eventually felt that it was a waste of my time and not so healthy for my spiritual life nor for the growth in life with my relationships with my spiritual companions. So I said goodbye to the old and new friends in my contacts and deleted my account. Life is so much better without it. I’m in touch with the people I need to be in touch with, and if I ever need contact someone, there’s always a phone call I can make, or letter or email to send.
May you be blessed with your new schedule.:)
I think we need to be honest with ourselves about time traps. We need to ask ourselves why something is addictive.