I Quit the Internet /
Recently I told someone that I quit the internet. They gave me a sidelong glance which told me that they thought I had said “I joined a cult that believes in Martians”. Now, before we go any further I have to clear something up with you, because you are already thinking “How did you quit the internet and you are writing an article… on the internet?”
Well the truth is that I didn’t quit the internet. I just stopped using an awful lot of it. I still use it, of course, because well, this is 2018, I live in the US, I’m not Amish and I’m not 106 years old (although it feels like it sometimes).
I quit the parts which were really bringing me down. And I didn’t quit them forever, but I am defiantly taking a break from them. I quit reading my daily news feed on my homepage. I quit social media (OK, I still use Messenger on my phone) and I quit all the over-hyped everything. I still got on today and did some shopping, my email and, oh, yeah, I had to file that accident report because I backed into someone’s car in a parking lot. But I left 90% of the online world for a while.
You might ask why. The answer is simple. There is a lot of anger and hate out there and it was totally bumming me out. Not only was almost everything in the news about evil people doing evil things to other people, but it was closer than that. My ultra conservative friends were posting angry things about liberals and my liberal friends were posting angry things about conservatives. Everyone seems to be wishing ill on everyone who has ideologies that don’t line up with theirs. And frankly this isn’t healthy. It isn’t healthy for anyone, but it especially isn’t healthy for those who are trying to follow Christ.
It’s not that sometimes these sorts of things aren’t important, but they aren’t what is most important.
The Apostle Paul told us in Colossians 3:1-3 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”
When we spend a lot of time reading about, listening to, arguing about and getting worked up over earthly things, that is where our hearts get focused. It’s not that sometimes these sorts of things aren’t important, but they aren’t what is most important.
I have seen people who are Christians get so wrapped up in politics etc. that they are spending all their time arguing about those things and it doesn’t seem that they are spending much time focusing on God or sharing Him with people who don’t know him. I wanted to step back from that.
Also, Paul told the church in Philippi “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
Quite frankly I was being anxious about a lot of things and I am willing to bet that so are a lot of you. This world and all the negativity and anger that resounds throughout it will make you anxious and probably also make you angry. That isn’t what God wants for you or for me.
Also, most of what I was seeing, hearing, and reading was not excellent or praiseworthy. So, I decided to put it away, at least for now. I am sure that I will be back checking social media and reading the dreary news headlines in a few weeks, but I am going to keep it to a minimum and try to stay out of the fray. It isn’t where I need to be and it probably isn’t where you need to be either.
You may not want to be drastic and pull away like I have, but I would encourage you to take a step back from anything which isn’t true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. It will do you a lot of Good, God promises so.