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The years teach much
which the days never knew.

-RalphWaldoEmerson


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Captivated

You know I’ve written about internet addition… e-mail… group list mail addiction… AOL… Geocities… One-List… eGroups… screen addiction… information addiction… whatever could be looked up… early on: Ask Jeeves. Bling.  Ask him… ask him anything.  Then Yahoo, then Google… click, click, click… Bling.  You’ve got mail… Bling!  Click, click, click… Blogs! Bling!  Facebook. Bling! Pinterest. Bling!

I write what I’m learning… I share what I see, what I experience, what God is teaching me.  You know; through a series of trials, disappointments and losses I was presented face to face with the reality that I was/am an internet addict.  By the grace of God and through the love of my husband, I had to face this reality and, after some time had passed, learn to make changes — and when it was obvious I could not be self governing, I had to have boundaries — literal restrictions — placed on my computer.  Like a drug addict, I am powerless over media.  And… like a drug addict, I didn’t realize what was going on around me, nor did I realize I was causing others to resent me — the time I was spending online and the time I  was not spending with them.  And guess what the fruit of this was/is?  Yes… in many ways, family and friends addicted to media.  That is not sweet fruit.

So… I implore you today.  Get fences.  Get restrictions on your media.  Get pruned.  Get staked.  Learn to live within the boundaries so that you will be more fruitful, more fragrant, more productive… You’ll see.  And you’ll be amazed.

Two years ago, when I handed my computer to my husband, I knew I had to come to grips with internet addiction/family hurts and my walk with the LORD.  Then, months later, when I had worked through and walked through where I was, what I’d done and what I needed to do: my one hour’s use per day almost seemed like a worse prison than no computer use per day… but that time was actually a school of prayer and more repentance, more revelation of what had happened (and why it happened) and what needed to happen.  What I thought was a punishment was a blessing.  What I thought was too hard was actually a marvelous mercy.  What I thought was too restrictive has become my greatest freedom.

Now, as in this little window of allocated/measured time, I have freedom — permission — blessing — to use this computer and I can choose to use the time to browse,  listen to sermons, to research,  to read/write devotionals, blogs, connect with my children and friends… bcz I’m in step with the plan for my days.  It’s freeing.  This humbling limitation has given me so much assurance and freedom.

It’s joked about sometimes around here — this restriction — and it reminds me of people’s comments to me early on when we only had one vehicle for many years and my husband was gone all day.  I could walk to the store for my groceries — returning with what could be carried or hung on the stroller.  It was freeing to me to not “run around” in the car — to plan my days and outings, to live within those boundaries.  I didn’t always know it and probably couldn’t appreciate it.  But I know and appreciate it now.  These things affirm to me that God never wastes a thread.

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3 comments to Captivated

  • Sarah

    Hi Miss Pamela,
    I REALLY appreciate your blog!!! This particular post made me think of a conversation yesterday with a co-worker. I attend a university here in Alabama, and next year, as part of the tuition package, every student will be receiving an iPad. The reason is because we “are moving into the time where technology will be the primary means of communication”, and we “need to be technologically smart”.

    This saddens me. I have a simple cell phone, and a laptop (bought for school projects since I don’t live on campus). Unless you count my hairdryer, toaster, and clock/alarm/radio, these are the only two pieces of technology I have. And some days I wish I didn’t have them. We have become WAY to dependent (IMHO) upon technology, and it is like a drug! My brother, who is in high school, was bemoaning the fact that people will freak out over losing their phone, but think nothing of losing their virginity.

    I want to recommend a book, called “Intimacy with the Almighty” by Charles Swindoll. It’s a small book, easily read in a day, but it packs a powerful punch. He discusses how overloaded with communication our society has become, and consequently how shallow we are. Technology may have increased communication, but it hasn’t increased intimacy. And that really is what we need- intimacy with others, but more importantly, intimacy with God. Ps. 46:10.

    I really do believe Satan is using the “increasing need” for technology to destroy us and this country. He is doing it in a cunning manner, slowly, quietly, unobtrusively- because he is the Great Deceiver. We are becoming isolated- from each other, and more importantly, from God.

    Thank you for your courage and wisdom to speak out about your addiction. The past few days I have been wondering if I myself haven’t fallen into the same trap! I have been enjoying the blogs of like-minded people, and have found it very encouraging. However, I have noticed that I am spending more time than usual on the computer, and that concerns me. I wonder, if at some point, science will “prove” that all this technology is bad for us. I already know that turning off visual technology helps us sleep better because flickering images trigger our brains to stay alert. But that’s not counting to environmental toxins in these devices, the wireless waves being transmitted, etc. I think next week I may try to take a technology sabbatical- and I think that will be so nice!

    I’m sorry this seems random, and I don’t usually respond, but this is a subject I feel strongly about. Thanks for letting me comment!

  • Thank you for writing, Keri! I’ll think on this. :o)
    It was great to have the opportunity to see him – talk with his family – and to be renewed in my desire and determination to communicate with mothers the exceeding damage internet addiction can and does do in homes and families. As if motherhood doesn’t go by fast enough, the motherhood of a distracted mother? twice as fast. You hear from mothers, over and over, O my, where’d the time go? A distracted mother says, O my, what happened in that time and where did the time go? Thank you for your zeal, for your dedication and attention to what’s happening – what’s important. God bless you!

    And, yes, I have been in prayer for you. Talked to WendyB and already have been praying along with her/you for good health, strength, lower blood pressure and perfect birth. :o) with love for you, too. ♥

  • I share your heart on this so much. Husband and I will be interviewing Philip Tefler of Captivated real soon for our podcast, so if there’s anything on your own heart to ask him, feel free to let me know.

    With love,
    Keri Mae (8 days overdue with baby #7….)

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