Wednesday, June 17, 2009

how I (try to) control my use of technology

I've talked about how technology tempts us to neglect rest and relationships and I've shared some links on the the temptations of technology and the temptations of blogging and facebook.

These issues have been going round and round my head ever since I started blogging! I soon realised that while blogging encourages me and others, it also tempts me to neglect my responsibilities, to care too much about what other people think of me, and to think too much about myself.

I re-assess how and when to blog and use technology all the time. There are days when blogging fits neatly into my life, and days when everything bends under the strain. There are days when I set sensible limits, and days when I'm foolish and use my time poorly. There are days when I look to God and his grace for my identity, and days when I worry about whether people are reading and what they think. I have to keep repenting and fixing my eyes on Jesus.

I'm gradually learning to blog while making sure it doesn't take over my life and emotions. Here's some of my guidelines, which I don't follow religiously:

  • no computer after the kids get home from school (this one's flexible, but I keep coming back to it as the best way to keep time free for children and home!)
  • no computer in the evenings unless Steve is working (I stick to this one pretty well)
  • no blogging on weekends - this time is for family, rest and reading! (ditto)
  • I try - not always successfully! - to limit blogging to an hour or so after lunch
  • I check messages during a few discreet times every day, and try not to check when I need to give my attention to something else soon (it's surprising how "checking a few emails" can turn into "writing a few long messages")
  • I don't check the stats on my blog more than once a week so I don't get obsessed with how many people are reading
  • I don't check or notice other bloggers' stats or popularity or interest in me at all if I can help it! The moment I do, I start playing the comparison game
  • I take holidays from blogging (thanks Rachael for reminding me of this!) - at the moment, a couple of weeks mid-year and over Christmas - yes, I'm due one soon, so you can expect another archives series in a week or so!

and other technologies:

  • I don't read many blogs - those I do read, I read through Nicole's shared items about once a week, to make the process quicker (thanks, Nic!)
  • I don't use facebook much at all, except to keep in touch with people
  • if I haven't prayed in the morning, I don't take my iPod on my walk
  • if I'm tired out, I don't listen to Christian talks in the car
These guidelines help me to exercise self-discipline, remind me to love the people around me, and keep me from exposing myself to unnecessary temptation (Gal 5:22-25, 6:7-8, Matt 5:29-30); but external guidelines only take you so far. More important than all these guidelines is fixing my eyes on Jesus.

Unless I'm secure in God's love and grace, I'll look to people for security, identity and hope. Only as the beauty and grace of Christ capture my heart will I be more interested in loving others than in what they think of me.

Like everything else, blogging is just so many clanging cymbals unless it's done out of love and for the glory of Jesus.

image is from stock.xchng


Rachael said...

...and when all that isn't working, have a break for a while!

Life will be pretty hectic for us over the next couple of months (its cool season in the tropics and when all our visitors come) so I've bitten the bullet and decided to have a break from blogging for a while. I hope to be back later.

Jean said...

Excellent suggestion, Rach!

Actually, I'm just about to have 2 or 3 weeks off myself (back to the archives!!). So I probably should have added that to my "disciplines" - oops, thanks for reminding me!!