Saying No to the Internet

By Trillia Newbell5 days series

I do not own an iPhone. Sigh. It’s not because I don’t want one. I do. It’s not completely due to cost, though that is a major hurdle. It’s because I know my kids would never see my eyes and my husband would have to ask me questions twice to get my attention. I know that I would be glued to it trying to figure out the latest app and checking my email as if I receive an email every 10 minutes. I know this because I don’t own one of those handy dandy devices and I am still quite consumed with the Internet. Today’s series lands me in strange territory. I will be saying NO to the Internet.

Unlike the TV which my family is giving up for five days (at least!), I cannot completely disconnect myself from the outside world. There are several reasons why but just to name two: I don’t want to and I work with the outside world. No really, I have seen great benefit from being able to connect with the world via the Internet. So let’s explore the benefits before I explain why limiting it might be beneficial.

Benefits

  1. Evangelism: I want the world to know about Jesus. The world has changed and as global technology and forms of communication change, I want to adapt. That is if I want to be able to share the Good News to a broad audience. Writing is a sort of ministry that I believe God has opened to me. With all of the smut that can be found on the Internet my hope is that this little place, or an article I write on another site, might be a place for refreshment and grace. I pray that it would reflect God.
  2. Financial: I am a writer and I write not only because I truly enjoy it and hopefully others benefit, but also for the benefit of my family. The eBook boom is a great indicator that people are shifting from strictly reading paper books to the convenience of technology. This includes blogs, online magazines, and more. Most of my articles have been printed in the Knoxville News-Sentinel but many are via online magazines. I thank God that I have a way to stay at home and work.
  3. Friends/Networking: Get on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and instantly you have friends. Though you will never meet many of these new “friends”, some you might and others you might be able to encourage or assist. There are so many people from my past that I would never have reconnected with had it not been for Facebook. Some people may see this as a negative but I think it is wonderful. I also have “met” some of the most fantastic women on the planet. Many of them I have shared with you via my features. I would never know them had it not been for their website or twitter page and the new accessibility through the Internet. It’s one of the blessings of getting to sift through the chaff.

Those are some of the benefits. But there are also a few disadvantages to this new source of information and entertainment. For me there’s really only one but for others there could be the temptation to look at pornography, there’s the potential for lying or creating new identities, there’s the temptation to be more harsh and critical, and then there’s my problem- to be distracted. Just like TV the Internet can be a major distraction in my life.

Doodle Dee, Doodle Dum(b)

 

Do you doodle? I never doodled growing up. I don’t doddle now. When I sit down to write a note to a friend or mail a bill, I sit down purposefully and complete the task. When I’m on the Internet though, I doodle, so to speak.  I check out one site and then another and then another and then I remember, “Oh man, I’m supposed to be writing.”  It’s difficult for me to sit down and write without doodling on the Internet. By the grace of God I’m not searching anything inappropriate and I’m quite selective about what I read. I just waste a lot of time! And as we already know, the days are evil and God desires we make the best use of our time. (Eph 5:15-16).

So what’s the solution for someone who works online? How am I going to say no to the Internet when in many ways it is my livelihood? I’m going to turn it off when I’m writing.  I’m also going to schedule my Internet intake. I’m going to check my email (or other forms of social media) some point in the morning, once in the afternoon and then once at night. For some of you this may seem so silly or bizarre that I would need to limit myself so strictly but I realize that for me to make the best use of time I will need to make changes with a plan of action.

I imagine that I will be able to write more effectively. I believe projects won’t take as long to complete. I imagine just like with TV that I will read more and be much more productive and engaged with the here and now. I think my children, though not in any way neglected, will have that much more of me. I don’t want them to remember me as the mommy who was on the computer.  I trust God will bless my efforts.

What about you? Do you find the Internet distracting? Are you a “doodler?” What are other benefits to the Internet?

 

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4 Comments to “Saying No to the Internet”

  1. Trillia, I so appreciate your heart in engaging in these issues AND inviting others to do the same. You’re a fine example of using the Internet to capitalize on edifying other ladies and pointing them to Jesus. Thank you for this post!

  2. Kyle says:

    I agree with your sentiments regarding time wasting and “doodling” on the Internet. I too am attempting to place restrictions on my Internet use. The irony of it all though is without Internet “doodling” I would never have found your writings and thus would not have seen this article!

    I am reminded of a John Piper blog post about makin the Bible distract from your Internet use rather than the other way around. I’m sure if I spent all the time I use on the Internet instead reading and meditating on scripture I’d be a Puritan!

  3. admin says:

    Thank you, Gloria! You are such an encouragement. I’m thankful that your site Domestic Kingdom is part of the benefits of the Internet! -Trillia

  4. admin says:

    So true Kyle! And you are right about the irony of it all. I’m so glad your doodling led you here. I definitely don’t think all doodling is bad, just the amount. That is where I will see the most fruit I believe. There will be designated times for various activities rather than throughout the entire day! Hope your restrictions are a blessing! -Trillia