Now I have a mobile phone and use technology every day of the week (and even waste time on it) but this certainly got me thinking! I take my phone practically everywhere with me. I love connecting with people through Facebook, Messenger and Whatsapp. I prepare studies, design PowerPoints and other documents on my computer to use in teaching children God's Word....and even manage my own simple website, I research the internet for pictures, information and use online Bible concordance and commentaries. In fact, I say, 'Give me a Bible and a computer and I'm happy.' (Maybe just throw a smart phone in too!) However, I've had to ask myself: 'Is technology my god? Do I spend more time on Facebook than having fellowship with God? Are my screens more important to me than building good relationships with other people?'
Going South helps me see how much I depend on technology to communicate with others. Once I cross the border into Southern Ireland my O2 big bundle package does not cover data, calls or sending texts. So, data is switched off, and only necessary calls and texts are made. O2 gets enough from me! But that means every time we go to a home or restaurant that has WiFi, out come the phones and we're all sitting communicating via Whatsapp, Messenger and Facebook as well as conversing with each other! That's the modern world that we live in.
No one can deny that technology has become an essential part of life in the modern world. Most jobs require the ability to use it to some degree or other. Outside of work we still Google for information, book holidays and shop online, watch movies and news, call, text, Skype, social network and so on. We are becoming increasingly dependent on technology but we need to remember that it is not the devices that are wrong; it's how we use them that matters. I know that some people's work requires them to spend much time on computerized devices. I understand that instant communication is an necessary part of modern life. And, yes, social networking does provide company and a means to keep in touch with people. However, it is our own responsibility to determine whether or not technology becomes our master.
Now I know that it is very difficult to control a teenager's use of technology. They could be right beside you as you work using their phones to plan badness. They could be doing homework assignments but really communicating with others and watching filth. Confiscate their phone and they will find some other way around it. Quite frankly, you cannot babysit them 24/7. However, we do need to do our best to moderate their use so that they enjoy other activities besides computer games and that they develop the ability to communicate with people of all ages outside of the cyber world. But may I hasten to say, not all teenagers use technology for wrong purposes.
I, myself, face the daily challenge of loving the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and mind. So, I must take care lest technology becomes like an addictive drug that draws my mind away from the Lord. It's like a drug that says: Just one more quick look on Facebook to see what my friends are up to and how many likes I have on my page....rather than finding a quiet place to be alone with God. Or maybe I've been searching for hours for something online and I'm just so mentally drained that I cannot benefit as well as I should from reading my Bible and praying. Yes, I'm human and do not always succeed where I should.
There are 3 words that help me monitor my use of technology so that it does not master me to become my god and they are CONTROL, BALANCE and DISCIPLINE. They speak for themselves. I must control what I use technology for. I must strike the right balance between my screens, other activities and family. I must discipline myself as to how much time I spend on my screens. And, of course, there's the issue of SAFETY. I must do what I can to protect myself and my family online, That's why I have HomeSafe protection from my internet provider....so that when I Google for kids Bible pictures of Adam and Eve, I don't end up on some dodgy website with inappropriate pictures!
|1 Samuel 9v27|