Does it sound like a drastic step that we’ve gotten rid of our home internet service in order to better redeem the time? Perhaps to some people it does. Earlier this month I called Comcast and finally killed the beast. After a few calls and wading through the gauntlet of customer service people trying to get me to stay, I managed to get the internet cut off. Sure, it’s going to save us some money. But more importantly, it’s going to save us lots of time and help us as a family to focus more on those things which really matter. At least that’s the plan.
Will we still utilize the internet? Absolutely, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this! We can get access in places like the library or any restaurant which has free Wi-Fi. So when we’re at home, we’ll be more apt to pick up a book rather than scroll on our phones. While it’s true that our phones still have a data plan, that’s a limitation. So far the results are pretty good. We’re spending far less time on the interwebs and giving more quality time to prayer, to our children, and to activities we’ve been putting off. Probably in about another month I’ll update on how this is working.
Personally, I’ve come to the conclusion that the incredibly easy access to the internet, television, and other forms of screen-based entertainment are really damaging to one’s ability to focus. Sure, there will always be the exceptions to the rule out there. Yet for most of us, we gradually (or maybe quickly) lose our ability to focus and do anything deep. For me, it’s gotten to the point where I can barely read a book if there’s a television on in the background. I’m too easily distracted.
Ask yourself this simple question: in the amount of time I waste every day scrolling Facebook feed (or pick your poison), how many books could I have read? This isn’t a rant against social media or some legalistic diatribe. There’s nothing inherently wrong with connecting with people via social media. I use it myself, especially to promote this blog. But social media doesn’t control me. It’s an option, not a constant “must have.” And that’s as it should be. We must be in charge of the technology we use, not the other way around. If you think this isn’t a problem, then look around the next time you use public transportation.
So we’ll see how this pans out. I’m already enjoying being free from the constant bait of the internet. For us, the internet becoming more like a nourishing stream rather than a rampaging river. Moderation in this area will definitely help us to be better stewards of the precious time God has given us.