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Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Love/Hate Relationship


While I was in California I made it my first priority to purpose servanthood towards my sister and her family and though I had access to the computer every day, I used it for a half an hour only once during my visit and if I checked my e-mail, I was on for only 1 minute. For most of my visit, I didn't concern myself too much with cyberspace and didn't really care to be on the computer and I found that to be so freeing to serve those around me...

Back in 2006 DearHubby joined an online forum about his favorite hobby. I noticed that he enjoyed the forum because he was able to discuss his favorite hobby with people of like mind. He's even met a few fellows who live nearby and has gone out once or twice with them.

As I watched DearHubby meeting new people through the internet, I thought it was a good idea to start my own online forum where I could discuss my favorite topic, God and Jesus. So, I started a women's forum, A Forum for Christian Women. I advertised it to my local friends, but none were really interested in participating. Only 1 friend was interested and to this day, she has been faithful in her continual participation in it. Thanks, Trish!...Anyway, as I got this forum started, I contacted college alumni offices for advertisement opportunities. I wasn't too successful. Then, I joined a Yahoo! group to find forum participants. Though my initial intent was to find forum participants, I also found good fellowship there and I ultimately left my initial intent behind and truly became a part of the group. However, this intent caught up with me when I mentioned my forum once and the owner of the group thought I was spamming and I was kicked off the group. I was left with a very hardened heart and couldn't believe that a fellow Christian would be so mean spirited. I was discouraged about my forum and prayed about shutting it down. Even though there weren't too many participants on my forum, it still took a lot of time to maintain because I wanted to provide any reader of the forum with good content and I did a lot of reading and researching and even posted several book studies. I decided to keep it up as a ministry because I got visitors once in a while and I thought that a Christian site would be more encouraging to a browser than an inappropriate site like porn. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of my love/hate relationship with the computer. I enjoyed posting, but I didn't like the time it took to put up a good post. Today, I barely participate on my own forum. When I remember to, I still do Thankful Thursdays, but otherwise, I don't research, read, and post as I used to.

In the midst of starting a forum, I was also introduced to blogging! What a great way to show off my new little one! It was exciting because I could capture DearDaughter learning in her big new world and share her experiences in a snap! I started out on Yahoo! and found that to be too cumbersome. As I looked around on the net for a more user friendly blogging site, I found Blogger and discovered that I could have more than 1 account using the same name!!! Thus, I started this site, The Art of Making a Home Joyful. I would have one site just for sharing DearDaughter1's experiences and another site where I could just pour out my heart about motherhood! But wait, I also needed another site to send monthly family updates...

And now, there's Facebook...

And good old e-mail...

Do I really need to spend all this time on the computer?

I am not suspending any of my accounts, but I am also not going to be spending much time on them either. This week, I left the computer off for 2 days, Tuesday and Thursday, and I found that I spent more quality time with MyGirls. I'm not on the computer much anyway, but when the computer is on, there's always that temptation to check e-mail for new mail or to check Blogger for comments on a new post or to check Facebook for a new notification or to check out the latest on a friend's blog. Then, if there is a new anything, I, of course, have to stop and check out what's new and if a response is needed, then think of a reply. You don't realize it, but that little break takes up time, time that could be spent, at least for me, serving more of my family.

So, that's my love/hate relationship. I love how the internet opens me up to a whole different world from mine and keeps me connected, but I hate how the internet just sucks away precious time from those around me. And that's my lesson learned, that the internet does suck away precious time from those around me, thus, I will be limiting my time on the computer even more. Yet, this is not good-bye...

1 comment:

Trish D said...

Funny, I don't remember writing this :) Seriously, though, it's so easy to get sucked into this online world! I know that I've been struggling with this as well, and am trying to find a better balance