Beware: Technology Addiction is Real

Our society has made technology into a god. If you don’t believe you are susceptible to this violation of the First Commandments, consider these questions:
• Do you carry your cellphone with you wherever you go, even when it is not needed? Do you keep it close by at night?
• Do you send text messages even when you should be doing something else? Do you sneak around to send messages?
• Do you stay up late, answering email, texting, etc.?
• Do you think about texting or social networking or your apps, throughout the day?
• Do you check Facebook, Twitter, etc. during meetings, at school, while cooking, etc.?
• Do you spend significant amounts of money on technology even though it is not necessary for your work?
• Do you have a sense that you couldn’t live without technology?

Consider these same questions for your children. Are your children, even as young as 8, spending significant hours absorbed with cellphones, visiting social network sites or playing elaborate virtual reality games?

The word “addiction” comes from Latin and means “surrendering to something that becomes habit-forming and creates a sense of withdrawal when it is denied.” It is a process of becoming enslaved to a substance of thing. Do you want to be controlled by your cellphone?

Recently, I heard a youth leader telling a group of kids they would have to leave their cellphones at home during a weekend retreat. More than a few of the teens whispering, “There is no way that’s happening.” But they weren’t worried. They have learned how to be sneaky (and that is sure sign of addiction.)

An addiction that leads to sneaky behavior is dishonest. It is a sin. And lying is the doorway to other forms of serious sin.

What if we surrendered to God instead of surrendering to technology? The answers to the questions above would be very different.

• I am aware that Jesus is present, walking close to me throughout my day, so I talk to Him. He knows me. He is with me. He is trustworthy.
• I say prayers when I begin every activity. I want to do His will, not my will.
• I offer myself to God and ask Him to use me for His purpose. I surrender to Him.
• I am detached from the things of this world. How unimportant and insignificant technology is! The blinders are off now. I see that phones, cameras and computers are merely tools. I will not let these things enslave me. Instead, I stand before the Almighty One, the Holy One, the Merciful One and ask for help!
• All life comes from Him. My “thank you” for this gift is to offer my life to Him. As Jesus said, “Let it be done onto me, according to thy will.”

Consider--do you have an addiction? Are you ready to change? The time is now.

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