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Monday, July 11, 2011

Media and My Walk With God

Today I link up with Courtney over at Women Living Well as she tackles the issue of how media may affect our walk with God.

Courtney has some very powerful things to say about this topic and I invite you to pop over using the button to read her post as well as those of  others who are linking up.

I am relatively new to the blogging world.. I began in January of this year. I have not been really big on the social networking sites of Facebook or Twitter. I joined them to try to get into the discussions that were going on online for a couple of things I signed up for, but I have found that it was difficult for me to keep my finger on the pulse of this social hubbub, where new tweets were constantly appearing.

I found myself initially feeling a bit left out because, it seems that most people have 'smart phones' with the ability to have total all day access to the internet and, as Courtney put it, the pingings that keep you up to date on the latest happenings. 

I soon realised that I didn't have the time to keep up with all that stuff and that I'm actually lucky that I don't have the temptation placed before me to keep responding to media output. My life is very busy and I spend a lot of time outside of my home. I start off my days getting the family out the door for work and school and then I go to daily Mass and spend some time in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. This is my quiet time with Him and I don't like deviating from this routine.

There have been times when I have not gone to Mass because I could not get organised in time before I got my last daughter out the door. This is because I had spent too much time on the computer, either composing a blog or reading others' posts. I usually set aside the time in between when my husband and older children leave the house, around 6:30 am and when my youngest gets up for school around 7:30 am to check emails and write or read blog posts.  I will admit to spending more time than that many days. Also, in the past, if I got up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep, I would pray.. now I find myself on the computer writing or checking blog feeds.

This is the negative side to how the media affects my journey in faith.  It is easy to get sidetracked away from the real purpose I am on there and get into all the more social aspects of things. I tell myself that I'm only going to post my blog and maybe read a couple of posts, but often find myself  reading on and on. This takes away from my prayer time and has a whole bunch of other negative aspects which I am sure Courtney will be tackling later on in this series.

On the positive side, reading other people's blogs inspire me to be a better person. I learn things from other Christian women that I never knew before. They share videos and stories that can lift me up and often I read something that I truly need to be reminded of at that particular point in time. It is very seldom that I do not read at least one post every day that gives me a dose of inspiration.

I believe that it is very easy to let the power of the media become a beast that is out of control in our lives. I have seen first-hand, in my own family, just how addictive it can be. Time that could be spent in family prayer is spent instead on the internet or playing games on the computer. As Courtney so eloquently put it, the i in the iPod, iPad and iPhone must not replace the I in the Great I Am.

I intend to follow Courtney's example and start logging my time spent on the computer. As school is now closed for vacation, I know I will not be as pressed for time and the temptation to be on here is going to be much greater. I am going to have to be intentional about how much time I spend in prayer and meditation and hold myself accountable for the time I spend on the internet.

How does the media affect your walk with God? Join in the discussion over at Women Living Well. Courtney would welcome your comments.


Shanda said...

There are definitely good and bad things about the internet and social media. I, personally, love it but do struggle to keep a balance and have to really make an effort to keep Christ first. I, also, do not have a smart thing so the internet is limited to home. That works better for me.

Kristin Bridgman said...

Great post and all so true. I love it too, but have to make myself be disciplined! It can get carried away if we don't watch it!
If it hadnt been for the internet, I would have never met you, that is definetly a plus in my book! :)
I loved the quote from your friend Courtney, I'm going to remember that one!

Andrea said...

With the advancement of technology brings both a blessing and a curse. With our schooling we rely on online curriculum (blessing). But then you have the drama on fb (curse). I try to keep our media relationship in check as much as possible:-)
Fantastic post!!!!

Lisa Maria said...

Shanda, I truly am happy not to have the added distraction of a phone that demands my attention. My husband has a Blackberry and it is quite intrusive.. the constant 'pinging'.

Kristin.. I count myself blessed to have met you as well and, yes, it is definitely a very big plus for me to have met so many wonderful people online.

Andrea.. I think you use the right word there.. 'drama'. I've seen quite some drama played out on Facebook myself. As you say, we have to be disciplined or it will get out of control.

Well, this is an 8 week series that Courtney is doing, so keep posted for more next Monday!

Love & Hugs

"Ima" said...

Well, let me just say that this really got to me-but in a good way. Oh the media! In some ways, it has helped. I spend time thinking about things and writing about them, thinking about what God is teaching me, and just reading some really good things that teach, encourage, and challenge me. But sometimes I can spend way too much time on my laptop and blogging. I am working on not doing that and not fretting over it too much. But, the first thing I do in the morning is check my email and read the news, when I should be spending time with God. And I'm working on not staying up too late working on posts, etc. so I guess I better stop now and go to bed :) Thanks for posting this-I have been thinking about all day. Good things.

Heather said...

Hi!I am participating with Courtney's Media Mondays as well. I'm with you about twitter; never joined that one. I do have a facebook page and it has been a double-edged sword. I love that I have been able to re-connect with people from Catholic Schools that I haven't connected with since I was 12; but I find that I try to 'catch up' too much. As with all things, media must be in moderation.