Last week I took a break from the computer. I have found that I spend WAY too much time on the computer and it has become unhealthy. I took a week off in order to clear my mind so I could be more objective about my obsessions.
During my years growing up, I always had access to the computer, video games, and TV. Screen time has taken up a lot of my life. I would hate to know how much time I have wasted doing mindless things in front of a screen during my life. But it stops here!
I think having John has spurred my sudden disgust for screens - and when I say "screens" I mean anything on the TV, computer, phone...). Sometimes while I am on the computer I will look down and see my precious baby looking at me while I sit in staring at the screen. This made me wonder what kind of things he is already learning from me. I bet he is learning that the computer is very important (insert sarcasm!). Whenever the TV is on, John will stare at it - so I know he already has the inclination to watch screens. For example, my mom was holding John at Mass last Sunday. Fr. Lappe showed a video for the "Catholics Come Home" campaign. The second the video began, John twisted his head around to watch!
I want John to grow up wanting to play outside and go places. I want him to have real experiences instead of vicariously watching characters on a screen living fake lives. In a way, this really relates to being pro-life (in the general sense of the phrase) because I want him to be out in the world living, as opposed to sitting on a couch and wasting his time.
Lately, I have been craving real human contact - not the superficial contact that I get on the computer on by watching TV. While I was driving in the car the other day, I was looking at the people around me in their cars. There we were on the same road, feet away from each other, going in the same direction, and I will likely never speak to them. How sad it is that we live our lives in close proximity to other people but we are very far away in our minds and hearts.
In my generation, we feel the need to "veg" by doing something mindless. I am tired of vegging. I want to use my mind. I want to be productive. Most importantly, I want John to use his mind, be productive, and have an active and full life - lived for God.
Turing my disgust into action:
So what now? My life is very interwoven with my time on the computer. I plan my meals, get recipes, get emails, read, stay up to date with friends, blog, shop...
Last night, Andrew and I were talking about all of this. We know that the computer and internet can be used for very good things. But Satan can turn these good things into vices. So, I will still use the computer, but only in moderation. I think moderation is the key.
I will do this by only spending a half an hour each day on the computer (yes, I am actually going to time myself!). I will still do all the good things I have done on the computer, but just less frequently. In this way, I hope to be a good example for John and spend more time doing my motherly duties.