Is the Internet Running Your Life?

By the end of this evening, my inbox will contain at least 100 new emails.  Facebook will have at least that many new notifications and a couple of messages waiting for me.  There might be a party tonight on Twitter and there might be some new recipe or Christmas craft I “need” to try on Pinterest.  My blog might be in need of a new post or there might be an article I’ve been meaning to read sitting in my bookmarks.  Perhaps there is a forum I should catch up on or a blog I should read through.  And that’s just today.

It’s amazing how not too long ago, the internet wasn’t even part of my daily equation.  It was about 13 years ago that the internet actually came to live in my home.  I had email and a forum I liked to visit.  And yes, I spent entirely too much time on the computer, which baffles me.  Maybe I can blame it on dial-up?

at the computer

Over the years, the internet has been everything from a distraction to a much-needed line of communication with my husband who was deployed.  It’s been a fantastic informational resource and a place to connect with others.  However, it does seem to have a strangely addictive quality.

We are afraid of missing something and in the process, we miss our own lives. 

You will not find me making some blanket statement about the internet being evil.  The internet doesn’t control you, you ALLOW it to control you.  And while some people can easily manage the addictive things of this world, there are others who cannot and whose only choice is to walk away, either for a time or for good.

How can you tell if the internet is running your life?

  • You are ignoring your children.
  • You are ignoring your household duties.
  • You check Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest for no good reason.
  • You are obsessed with not missing anything that is going on online.
  • You feel overwhelmed by your email or any other account you might have.

or…

You can just tell you are allowing the internet to control you.

If you feel like the computer is running your life, chances are, it is.

When I started seriously blogging here at Raising Arrows, I knew it was going to take a serious amount of balance.  My husband and I both felt the Lord was leading me into this ministry, but I knew from past experiences, I wasn’t always the best manager of my online time.  I asked God to keep me accountable, no matter what it took.  I can honestly say, in the nearly 3 years I’ve been serious about Raising Arrows, God has never let me down!  Every single time I’ve teetered on the edge of excessiveness, God has reined me back in.

But, I want to be careful here to tell you that where God has me and the balance He has given me, is not for everyone.  I’ve been tempted to look at other mamas and wonder how in the world they manage to juggle their online time and do as much as they do without sacrificing their families, while other mamas look at me and wonder the same thing.  But, here’s where we have to remember not to compare ourselves with others via arbitrary guidelines. (2 Cor 10:12)

And again, if you feel as if the internet is running your life…chances are, it is.  Listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading and find the balance or walk away!

Are you interested in learning more about blogging and time management?  Read my series:
A Christian Mom’s Guide to Blogging

Are you wanting to learn how to manage your daily life in general?  Grab my ebook:

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14 thoughts on “Is the Internet Running Your Life?

  1. Thanks for this great post, Amy! I deactivated my facebook account 3 weeks ago today, and it has been SUCH a blessing for our family! When I was struck with extreme morning sickness at the beginning of this pregnancy, 4 women from our church noticed a need and provided us with a dinner. What a blessing! By the 4th woman, I realized God was trying to tell me something, as NOT ONE of those women had facebook! I was so struck with the fact that these women had time to minister to me, and yet I felt as if I had no time at all! It took a few more months for me to really “get it”, but I’m so thankful that I finally did! I still get on in the morning before the children get up to check e-mails and such, but for the rest of the day, the computer is WAY on the back burner and our family has definitely benefited from it!

  2. I don’t know how it’s done, but I had my husband turn off the internet from midnight to noon and all day Sunday. That way, I can focus on getting our homeschool done and resting on Sunday – I do best when I just remove the temptation as much as possible. There are so many good things on the internet but it is an incredible time-sucker.

  3. Great post and so true. We decided recently we are going to get rid of Internet at home. It has caused problems in a lot of areas and a simple solution and a way to save money is just to get rid of it. Thankfully we have a library five minutes away if I need to check emails. And we will save 70 dollars a month by getting rid of it!!

  4. I was just challenged yesterday by a woman who said, “if you have 10 free minutes, what is the first thing you do?” It was convicting to think about. I will honestly say that I generally grab my laptop and not my Bible or even the cleaning cloth. I think some changes are in order!
    Great post!

  5. can not LOVE this post enough. I am so sadden to see “busy” moms talking about how overwhelmed they are. Jesus’ burden is easy & light. WE put this on ourselves to try to keep up with the person next to us. And that’s NOT what God wants for us. In May the only thing I wanted for Mother’s Day was MORE TIME. I knew I had to cut The HSV off and be done with it than run my days into the ground and just 1/2 effort parent my boys who NEED ME NOW!!!

    I love the list you included – because seriously, let’s start calling a duck a duck.

  6. Great post; thanks for sharing ~ I have taken breaks from fb and pinterest in the past – it can be so easy to waste many hours in front of the computer. Plus, I never know when hubby will get online when he is deployed! It’s how I justify the many hours sat in front of the monitor… *wink* lol
    Thanks again for a wonderful post ~

  7. I purposely stay away from FB. I know myself and decided to not even go there. It is frustrating sometimes when blogs I do follow (and re-evaluate from time to time as even those add up!), have special give aways for their FB followers. But I’m learning, that not everything that is given free is actually free. It still takes my time to get it, read it, and then implement if needed. I’ve prayed that the Lord will bring the right things along to my life if it is needful. And He has never let me down. Glad to know from reading the comments that I am not alone. So often I get really strange looks when I state that I don’t do FB/twitter/or any other such added on internet time user.

    • Me too! No facebook account here – and I get weird looks when people find that out. I really appreciate your comment that “not everything given free is free.” I needed that reminder of what a FB account would really cost me and not get too discouraged that I can’t enter some giveaways.

  8. LOL! As I tucked in to read this VERY PERTINENT post I got the giggles when I scrolled down to the photo of you at the screen. It was as if I was looking at a reflection of myself!! (face resting in hand, hand on the mouse, even using the same computer!)
    thanks for sharing!! I learn so much from you!

  9. Thank you for this, it comes at the perfect time. For me it’s all about which elements I use within the internet in a healthy/unhealthy way. For example, blogs and pinterest I use for inspiration and learn an awful lot from….twitter and facebook less so. I think I need to re-examine the role of the internet in my life, for sure.

  10. Pingback: Taming Technology | MandyE