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De-wire?

June 9, 2008
by

How many of us love our connected devices?  I have read many things over the past several years about how much we use mobile phones and computers, but this series of pictures by Evan Baden called The Illuminati captures the obsession in pictures.  (Hat Tip: Evangelical Outpost)  In it, you see young adults seemingly mesmerized by the soft glow of their screens.  Many of them have their mouths slightly open as they look at the screen that connects them with the world.

I think that if we are honest, we all know that this experience is common to most people around my age.  We spend hour upon hour surfing the Internet, wanting desperately to keep in touch with the world around us.  How long has it been since we took a break from all of this?  

As I have mentioned before, I recently went to the New Attitude conference.  While I was there, I debated (as I do every year) whether or not to bring my laptop.  I’ve left it at home for the past two years, despite the offer of free wireless from my hotel, mostly because I know I need a break.  I spend a lot of time on the Internet – some of it doing important things, but most of it just idly checking e-mail, blogs, facebook, or other distractions, which the Internet offers.  This brings two main problems.  The first is that the longer you are on the Internet without a purpose, the more you can be tempted to sin.  The other is that once you have done important things on the web, you can use the time staring at your computer screen in other ways.  

I highly recommend taking breaks from our highly connected world from time to time: when on vacation, for example, or when attending a church camp out or conference.  There is no true need to be totally connected at all times.  I’ve found breaks from the Internet to be refreshing, as I can refocus on other things, such as reading, which can get the short end of the stick when I spend too much time on the web.  

(Although another strategy is to put things of more importance on the web: I moved my Literary Study Bible from the paper version to the online version, mostly because it cut down on the prospect of having multiple study bibles around my house all the time that are harder to carry around and that are not needed when I am not doing my devotions.  However, it is easy to lose focus on the Word when some distraction is a new tab and a Google search away.  This has worked for me so far.)

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