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Are You A Computer Addict?

May 1, 2008
What did people do before computers, anyway? I can't imagine! But let's be real. With the computer and internet so prevalent today, it's no wonder that many people feel they couldn't live without it.

Recently, my computer needed to be repaired. You would have thought I lost my right arm. I thought I was going to go insane! Fortunately, my best friend offered me the use of her computer so I could submit some articles that were due, as well as check my email so I didn't have six hundred of them to sort through when I finally got my computer back. But this made me think: what would I do if my computer was taken away for good?

So how addicted are you? Granted, many of us use computers for our work. But I'm not talking about work. Let's say you had a day off from work. Would you spend it online or playing computer games? And what if you had to be without a computer for a day? Would thoughts of checking your email or looking up a quick site consume you?

Look over the following statements and see if any sound familiar.

* The first thing I do in the morning is check my email.

* The last thing I do before going to bed is check my email.

* I bring my laptop into the living room while I watch television.

* If I want to check the weather or a movie show time, I don't even think about looking in the newspaper, I check online.

* Our family argues over time on the computer.

* My kids have made comments that I'm always on the computer.

* I email more often than I pick up the phone.

* If the internet is down, I get frustrated.

* When out with friends, I think about checking my email at least twice.

* During devotions, the phrase, "you've got mail" interrupts your train of thought.

If you could identify with 5 or more of these statements, chances are, you're a computer addict!

Of course, the Bible was written way before computers were even thought about. But The Word does say a thing or two about allowing something take a higher priority than spending time with God. And, I'll admit, I've been guilty of doing just that.

Here are six ideas to begin to break the hold the computer has on you.

1. Set a timer for an hour or two. It's easy to lose track of time while surfing the net or chatting with our friends on message boards or via Instant Messaging. Setting a timer is just an audible reminder that we've probably been on long enough.

2. The next time you think, "I'll just send a quick email," pick up the phone and call, instead.

3. Resist hitting that power button until you've opened up your Bible or at least said good morning to your Creator.

4. Turn off the computer after a certain time each evening. Maybe check email one more time after dinner and then shut it down for the night. Spend some quality time with your family. I guarantee they will be more fun than your Gateway.

5. Consider fasting for a day. Not from food, but the computer. Leave it off for just one day. It's NOT going to kill you but it will make you stronger and more in control of your flesh.

6. PRAY! Ask God to decrease your need for more computer time and replace it with a desire for more God-time.

While it isn't likely that computers are going anywhere, it is possible to diminish your dependency on them.

"Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away." I Corinthians 7:31 (NLT)
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