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On Cutting Back Computer Time

February 16, 2010

Over the past several months, I have really grown to appreciate the rhythm of the liturgical year.  Our church makes a nod to the church calendar during the service by explaining the various traditions that accompany the day in the bulletin.  I love the constant reminder the time of year gives to our celebration of our Lord, whether it’s His birth at Christmas or death at Easter.

With Lent approaching, I’ve been reflecting on the place of the computer in my life. I know I’ve just recently start blogging again, so it may seem as if I never have time on the computer.  Behind the scenes, however, I’m very much an Internet addict.  I think I check my e-mail 5 times a day, and I update my Google reader feed about 20 times. Technology should be a tool to make life easier; something that you control in order to enhance your life.  The computer actually controls me; right now I’m a slave to it.  I don’t spend enough time in prayer and the Word, and I don’t spend enough time with my child. Life is too short to continually refresh the web browser.

I don’t want to say that I’m “giving up blogging for Lent,” just that the oncoming Lenten season is reminding me that my priorities are out of whack.

So, all that to say, I don’t plan on cutting back on blogging, just changing my perspective:

  • I won’t be on the computer from the time I rise in the morning until Maddie goes to bed for the evening.
  • If I think I need information for the next day (such as a recipe), I’ll record the information down the night before.
  • I’ll do my blogging at night, and try to keep myself a few posts ahead (like I am now).
  • I have an ongoing project I need to work on, but I know the temptation will be too great to just take a quick peak at my inbox, so this project will also be done at night.
  • I will spend my morning hours reading my Bible or one of my devotional books.
  • I’ll spend more time playing and reading to Maddie, instead of setting her in front of the TV.
  • I’ll try to knock out my chores in the morning before lunch. I’m always behind on housekeeping because I’m on the computer!
  • I won’t be a stickler about this. If something comes up that necessitates going online, I will.

I’m going to try to keep this up until Easter, ideally longer. For me, this is not about “what I’m giving up.” It’s about computer time being a higher priority than God. We are going through a Tim Keller study at church on Galatians, which is a wonderful reminder of the grace we receive because of Christ’s death on the cross. Seeing His grace poured out on me, I can’t help but want to spend more time in His Word. Spending more time with Maddie and having a clean house will be an added bonus.

Check out these posts from Jenn at Conversion Diary for some good thoughts about cutting back computer time:  A Week without Noise and 20 Things I Learned in my Week without my Computer.

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