Digital Clutter

How much media do you keep up with every day? Do you read a newspaper? Subscribe to hundreds of rss feeds? Have more than 1,000 facebook friends? Follow thousands on twitter? How many times a day do you check your email? Communication has evolved at the speed of light in the past century. As a Christian, how are you supposed to remain adrift in this endless sea of information? How do you keep your 'keeping up' under tabs? It's easy to be careless to the point where our media consumption becomes alarmingly detrimental to our spiritual health. Point blank: Anything and everything media poses a risk of taking your eyes off of Jesus Christ, and that's a scary thing. Our hearts are idol factories. Sitting in front of the 'stupid box' and losing yourself is much more appealing than the prayer closet. Spending countless hours surfing the web deceptively seems more satisfying than reading the Bible or a good Christian book. We won't ever get it right in this life, so don't throw yourself in a ditch. You will never love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength perfectly. Even the tears of our repentance need to be washed in the blood of the Lamb. We are to live holy lives to the best of our ability, but how does that effect our media consumption? I intend to share some of my personal rules, not to impose them upon you. I have to be chastised and taught by God the same way you do.

Let me start by sharing the different forms of media of which I partake, then, how I try and keep each in check. Media in my life: rss feeds, facebook, twitter, books, TV, and email.

RSS feeds: In case you don't know what RSS (really simple syndication) is, let me clarify. It's following blogs (some form of online journal or news outlet). Theology and technology are my two main interests, thus, the blogs I follow are all about one or the other. I only follow ten and do not read every post. This has proven to build my faith and fuel my nerdiness.

Facebook: The only reason I even have a facebook is to share the Gospel. I almost always post everything to twitter instead of facebook. I use an application that automatically posts my 'tweets' on my facebook page, thus, killing two birds with one tweet (You know you're smiling now). I only log on a couple of times a week (if even that much), and I have a small amount of friends (98% of which I know personally).

Twitter: I log on much more here than facebook, but I only 'follow' ten people, and they all post faith edifying, thought provoking tweets. Nothing tech here (not that it's forbidden). This has proven to help me avoid wasting time online reading useless junk.

Books: It's a rarity to see me reading anything that isn't explicitly theological. It's hard to focus on anything else for me. I don't understand it, nor do I apologize for it. I take it as a gift.

TV: The great life-waster. Don't get me wrong, I don't call it the 'hellivision,' I just know the detriments that it causes in the lives of almost every American. I usually only watch movies or shows with my wife, which is a method of spending time with her, although it be a meager one. I do see room for leisure and relaxation in the Christian life, but not much. I don't mean to sound like a drill sergeant, but Jesus was about the Father's business His whole life, and we should strive to be as well.

Email: Only a select few individuals have my email address and I subscribe to NO newsletters from stores, eBay, Amazon, etc. I check it only a few times a day and do my best to expertly set up spam filters in order to waste the least time possible. Wasted seconds add up to wasted years. Think twice before potentially wasting someone else's precious time with a chain letter.

These have not always been my way of doing things, and they are subject to change, but they have immensely strengthened my spiritual life. I don't claim my methods to be perfect, but for right now, they work for me. I want to urge you to take a look at your digital life and discard the distractions. Jesus is worth it. Only He will satisfy you.

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