Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Internet Use Disorder

Should pastors declare internet sabbath?
This week's post at Sacred Space is a sharp reminder that good things can be misused- and can be a hindrance to the spiritual life. The Irish Jesuits are timely in naming the loss of sacred space as one casualty of internet dependency. The many tools of the internet have the capacity to invade our mental and spiritual focus.

We can be described as an ADD culture, which has safety consequences all its own. Beyond the safety concerns, like texting while driving or walking through traffic, the lines between private down time and public work time are almost gone. Employees are beginning to ask employers for the time they spend away from the office working on various projects. An off-the- wall tweet or post can get you thousands of followers, fired, or both.

Like other addictions, the sickness of IUD is a dependency. I don't know about the physical dimensions of the disorder. Like anything we use to mask our pain, a nice convenience like the internet can easily become a life drain very destructive of our health in many facets.

For too many days and nights, I let my fascination with the internet ruin any chance for growing deeper communion with God and others. But I have chosen that. It is a spiritual discipline to turn it off. Just like previous generations learned to turn off the radio, the TV, or the VHS. A friend of mine periodically (she would like it to be every week) practices a phone/internet free morning, all morning. It's called an internet sabbath or fast.   

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