I am a victim and a culprit – more of the latter, less of the former – of cyber daze. By cyber daze (a term I just made up) I am referring to that moment when you are on your computer/phone and can’t even hear what someone – a real person in the room with you – is saying. I have been scolded many a times for this. It’s a terrible habit. I blame nomophobia. That and social media.
I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love it because it’s instant, it connects, it makes you feel like a journalist – on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not. It keeps you in touch with friends all over the world in a way snail mail could never dream of doing. So that’s great – all well and good.
So why hate it? Well, aside from how antisocial it makes people, I have learnt that there are some serious implications to being a digital fanatic. There’s a lot of online noise. In the midst of trying to find out the latest scoop, connecting with a loved one or just having a bit of fun, you encounter a whole lot of nonsense. Of course you can control who you follow or befriend, but ‘one man’s favourite is another man’s noise’ – there is a great deal that slips through the cracks. It also affects one’s ability to focus and concentrate on one thing (FYI – I just reached over to check my phone before I wrote this line). Can A.D.D. be developed at adulthood?
More importantly though, it can have spiritual implications. As a spiritual and religious person, I have learnt and believe that quiet time with God is the first thing you need to do to start your day. Instead though, I often find myself reaching for my phone – checking for the latest breaking news or scandals – before I even think of praying or opening my Bible. Shame on me.
The days I do get it right – the days I do make a concerted effort to pray and meditate on God’s word for more than 10 minutes; the days I actually take the time to connect with God and feel His presence – those are the most beautiful of days. No matter what happens – good or bad – I have such an assurance and peace within that comes from God when I make Him my first priority.
So why is it so hard? Someone once said to me, God is a gentleman. He waits to be invited into our lives, into our hearts; unlike the devil who forces his way through every nook and cranny, is loud and invasive. So when it comes to spending time with God, He will wait for you to take the time and be with Him. Just like a doctor waits for a patient to come to his practice, God waits for you to seek him in prayer. If you don’t, He won’t be there for the spiritual, mental and physical healing that comes from communing with Him.
Technology is great but it can also be a hindrance for spiritual growth. We get so preoccupied with it and that’s exactly what the devil wants. He doesn’t want us to make time for God or for our own well-being. Because He knows the power and blessings that come from time spent in the presence of God.
Am I saying technology is the devil? Far from it. As people, we just need to manage it and not let it run our lives. My advice:
1. Take a break from social media from time to time – a Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest fast of sorts. When it gets too loud and you’re getting too consumed in it, spend a week or as long as you need to focus on reality. Go watch the sun set for a change.
2. Have a cut off time from being on your phone/tablet/computer – have a time at night where you no longer check these. A quiet time before bed where you prepare for the day ahead and meditate before you go to sleep.
It can be so relieving. Oh, and read. Read a book. It really is refreshing.
I really need to start listening to my own advice.
“I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” – Revelations 3:20