Friday, August 30, 2013

the great internet debate

We've been blessed to have free internet from the college, since we live so close. However, the reception is low, and, at times, there is none. In the past, it was rare to have no internet and usually didn't last long, but not so these last few months.

In those times past, when the internet would not work, I took it as an omen to do something else. And as our computer picked up the signal less and less, my husband's work laptop would pick it up and I'd use it. Then it stopped too.

All this inconsistency and expecting to do something (like post on my blog!), but not getting to, was/is very frustrating. And it brought about a lot of thought provoking questions. Like...

Why am I so dependent on the internet? Why do I feel I needed it? People lived years without the internet - I can't go a day without wanting to use it? Am I making this more important than God? Is God telling me to give up the internet?

It all feels a little silly now, but I was really wrestling with these things. I simply wanted God's will and I was tired of getting frustrated about the internet, or lack there of. So I prayed and thought, and prayed some more.

I realized the source of my frustration - why I feel I "need" the internet. Unlike 10-15 years ago, our society now runs on the internet. It's used for so many things, just about everyone has it, and it is difficult not to use it too.  Especially when you have before. I realized I was trying to live in a way that utilizes the internet (blogging, email, shopping, learning), but I couldn't do it. Hence the frustration. I needed to either do something to get the internet, or change the way I do things so that I wouldn't need the internet.

I came around to all this while I was praying about it and I just felt like God was telling me that it's  okay for me to have and use the internet, which was a huge relief. When I told my husband that, he agreed with me. "That makes sense. Orthodoxy is all about moderation, so why should you not have it at all?" he said.

And so we bought a tablet (the Surface RT), which we had been considering for a few months now. So far, it picks up the internet just fine - and in multiple places. I can use it to do what I need to do. It's like a little laptop!

I'm trying to use it very mindfully. I have certain criteria that need to be met before I get on and I'm trying to follow that. I want to use the internet as a tool - to share, learn, communicate. It's also an outlet - something I really enjoy.

It seems most people don't question the place internet has in their lives. We all just take it for granted because it simply is everywhere. Because in the past I have had trouble putting it in its proper place, I really struggled with this. I thank God for giving me guidance and grace. I pray I can use it for good.

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