Saturday, January 12, 2013

Controlling the Internet

I love the internet!  I offers limitless possibilities---education, fluff, friendship, keeping up with family and friends, useful information, useless information, movies, lots and lots of opportunities for sin, and more.  There are so many good, legitimate uses for the internet and its offspring, Social Media.

Lately, I've discovered that Social Media is one of the best ways that I stay in touch with God.  It helps me to "pray always" through the neverending prayer requests on Twitter, FB, and blogs.  Some of these people I know through the internet, and many I don't, but I take them into my heart and pray for them.  Maybe there is something about that that makes me less concerned with my own, minor, problems, and so I pray more on my own in thanksgiving for my blessings.

Unfortunately, it has become more clear to me than ever that it really interferes with my primary vocation.  I am so thankful that I did not have the internet or a smart phone when my children were little!  With all due respect to the holy vocation of motherhood, staying home with just littles can be a bit mind-numbing at times, and I, for one, would have been in front of the computer way too much!

Since the New Year, I've been trying to spend the first moments of the day at the kitchen table reading my Daily Catechism, some other spiritual reading, and a little journaling.  Very little. ;-)  I don't actually consider myself a writer; I just want to record what I was thinking, or better, what I was inspired by in that morning's reading.  But please don't be impressed, because I'm fairly sporadic, and since I'm reading the Catechism from my phone, I have to really fight (and often lose) the battle to check email at the same time!

On Wednesday I did my prayers, and had to go almost immediately to take Tom to school (it was Late Day), and when I got home I immediately sat down at the school table.  I practically never do that because I have to decompress after the morning traffic!  The whole day was jam-packed with productivity, and it was awesome.

Productivity plummeted the next day when I saw my Google Reader and there were so many blogs to catch up on!  I spent more time on Twitter and FB, and was trying all day to keep up with everything.   It wasn't a very good day.  It wasn't a very bad day, either, and I certainly understand that there are good days and very bad days whether one prays, or not,  but there was a level of franticness (is that even a word?)  and dissatisfaction all day that hadn't been there on Wednesday.

I also had (what I thought was) a good idea for a blog post, but it got lost in the mire of tweets and blog posts that I spent all day reading.  Not to mention that the time for blogging was sucked into that same black hole that is The Internet!  So, while there were a lot of extra prayers said for those who crossed my path online, there was also a lot of wasted time which St. Peter will probably ask me to account for when I meet him at the Pearly Gates!

This weekend I'll probably be found brutally pruning my online reading list.  :(  I ordered a bunch of books from the library, and bought one free on Kindle today, which is crazy when you consider the amount of time I have not been spending reading books in the past couple of months.  But it's time to remedy that.  I really want to be present in this life, not found reading my phone at any given moment.  Of course, the kids will still need to make sure they divert my attention from a book to them before telling me their important news, but at least my reading will be more satisfying!

Does anyone else have this problem?  I sort of long for the days of the Dumb Phone, but Verizon doesn't sell those anymore, and I do love my iPhone because it can handle so many chores for me,  but it's time to take back control!

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