Media aseptic: computer as a wall between God and man
Hello. My name is Matthew, I'm an Internet addict.
E-mail and social networks for me – the most familiar way to cope with grief and anxiety. If I feel bad, sad, boring, I'm angry or afraid – my hand reaches for the phone, and I open the Facebook app.
When I work at the computer, I check my mail every few minutes, update the Facebook feed every 10 minutes. There is a vinaigrette in my head: fragments of thoughts, images, impressions, conversations, pictures, quotes … My soul does not have time to say its word, to let me hear even myself. I can’t feel my own state. I’m flipping through Facebook for hours, I can’t tear myself away – it’s like hypnosis.
Understand and win
Today is the first day of Great Lent. For me, fasting is a chance to think about the “hook” that the world catches me about, about the mechanisms of my enslavement; take a step towards freedom and peace.
It is known that addiction is not just a “bad habit”. Every addict has a spiritual wound, and often a simple willpower will not defeat the addiction. One of the best ways is self-report: well, I have important things to do, and I have been browsing Facebook for 20 minutes. What is happening to me? Why don't I want to get started? Let us listen … Yes, it is they who are bitterness and sadness, who ask to be outside, and I am trying not to notice them. And the information flow is an excellent anesthetic. Just being with these feelings, admitting to yourself in them, bringing them to God is already a step towards healing.
My second method of dealing with addictions is group work, especially reading the Scriptures. Each such meeting is an opportunity to be with other people, alive, but not digital. And the first of the people with whom I want to be is myself. I appreciate very much when, during the group, endless vanity of thoughts recedes, and I can touch the living feeling of myself, the pain hiding somewhere deep inside, the longing for God that I have, it turns out, is.
Climb a tree
I remember the story of Zacchaeus; it is not for nothing that they read it in the Church during the period of preparation for the fast. Around the crowd – scraps of thoughts, feelings, conversations – why not Facebook? And inside I have a keen desire to meet the Lord, to see Him. And every Lent is a chance to meet: the Lord is coming, He is near.
Zacchaeus. Painting by Elena Cherkasova
And every time I’m afraid – will he pass by this year, don’t see me in the crowd, won’t I be able to do something for the meeting to take place? heads We must decide to become strange, to stand out; a person who has refused social networks in our time looks no less strange than the head of the tax department (he was Zacchaeus), who climbed a tree.
How to emerge from the crowd? One of my friends, Dima, collected various ideas on his website, how not to drown on the Internet and follow what I “use” there. There are a number of technical solutions: for example, programs that, according to my task, disable social networks or even access to the Internet on my computer for a specified time. So I can give myself 2 hours of concentrated work without mail and social networks. It would be great if the same thing happened with the refrigerator: pressed the button, and all the meat and dairy products were gone at once!
Dima's own development – Mediaasket site, which is just a white screen. You fall on it – and you find yourself in a saving "silence", all information flows have dried up. This gives you a chance to clear your mind from the clutter and focus on something really important. Of course, this is not a panacea. But I am sure that every 5 minutes, for which I deliberately chose to be myself, and not to dissolve in the information flow – this is already a small victory.
I wish you – and above all to yourself – to make this post a time of abstinence not only gastronomic; hold it so that a meeting with the Lord takes place; emerge from the hustle and bustle and feel in your heart the spark of God's presence.
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