Despite being a rabid Star Trek fan, it doesn’t stop me from asking questions, like “where are their bathrooms?”
As the crew boldly goes exploring the universe, I also wonder, where is their sense of curiosity? They have a powerful onboard computer with the knowledge of multiple worlds and cultures, but you never see them trying to recall trivia, or watching cat and tribble videos.
Back here in the 21st century, I have trouble checking email without falling under the siren song of the internet and its access to facts, figures, Facebook, and photos. (And cat videos.) And it’s not just me; According to Nielsen, we spend more than 11 hours a day interacting with media and checking our phones every 10 minutes.
Beginning a year is a good chance to make resolutions. And just as I tithe my income, why can’t I tithe the time I interact with media in ways that both makes better use of my online time while also is intentional about spending time with family and friends? What might that look like?
Keep connected. Some have abandoned social media to make more time for other things – including face-to-face friendships and listening. Or, I can call, send cards or notes that share personal news and thoughts. There can be a place to do both well, if done intentionally.
Do good. My home page is GreaterGood.com /clicktogive/ggc/home. The site, celebrating 20 years, provides clickable tabs to benefit “people, pets, and the planet.”
If I’m going to spend time shopping online, I’ll also use services like Amazon Smile (smile.amazon.com) or GivingAssistant.org to benefit charities.
And, that means not letting a few clicks take the place of sharing my possessions, time, and money, and directly interacting with and assisting others.
Trim back. Why use my time online to be aggravated? When a relationship is not beneficial or a source of irritation, unfriend or mute them, to see them less.
Save everyone’s time. I get enough email already, so I will not use “Reply All” to waste the time of others with insightful replies like “me too” or “sounds good.” I will also spend a few seconds to make sure what I share or forward is truthful and accurate.
Build up. I will constructively use more of my time to affirm others.
Speak up. Proverbs 31:8 says “But you must defend those who are helpless and have no hope.” It is a good use of my time to go beyond simply signing a petition to post, write a letter or send an email that goes beyond talking points. That means spending time to staying informed, too. I will also risk criticism by correcting inaccuracies in civil ways.
Balance my commentary. Of course, if I decide to make less critical or snarky comments to start with, those last two goals get easier.
Plan better. Make sure my schedule leaves room for enough sleep, reading, exercise, and outdoor time.
That’s my goal. How about you? What will you do to boldly go and invest your time to love others and honor God?
Here are more helpful links to visit – that is, if you have the time.
- Should Adults Have Screen Time Limits, Too? (Rewire)
- How Much Screen Time Is Too Much? (Psychology Today)
- The Best Ways to Cut Down Your Screen Time Across All Your Devices (Popular Science)
- How to Actually Stop Wasting Time On The Internet (College InfoGeek)
- 5 Effective Ways to Stop Wasting Time On The Internet (Fearless Motivation)
- 6 Ways to Give to Charity Without Even Trying (CNET)