Sunday, January 21, 2007

Internet Regula/Resolution

In response to this thread on internet communities I started an informal Internet Regula for myself which went like this:

  • Read and write mostly when everyone is asleep.
  • Don't do this every night.
  • Do research and quick specific emails during the day.
  • Have a notebook to log what I want to accomplish online so I don't drift.
  • Also, log what I did in order to keep track.
  • Pray: AMDG -- devote internet time to God.
It made me realize that in the theme of Celebrating Abundance, I might be more grateful for the gifts the internet gives me if I back off just a bit. So that was an informal New Years' Resolution that I didn't post because I wanted to make sure I could keep it!

It was hard, which is a good sign -- muscle burn! Though it has been getting easier over time and now I have some habits to replace the old ones. Our chair by the fireplace is a great help! I also notice that I'm more keyed into what's going on around the house, and staying off the computer myself helps me keep the children away from the screen a bit more.

I think I was wrapping too much of my identity up online, which made it less "real". I wonder if this is universally true -- getting overinvolved makes things "less real", whereas a bit of detachment and "agency" puts things in a more real light. A half-formed thought there, and half-formed it will have to stay.

I notice that it's difficult to get back into the swing of things when I am not on here as much. I could easily drop off almost completely, though I've been trying to keep up with my online journal.

Karen E posted these guidelines for regulating things in our lives, according to St Ignatius:

  • Things/people God wants us to enjoy
  • Things/people God wants us to endure (or suffer)
  • Things/people God wants us to remove (because they lead us to sin)
  • Things/people God wants us to sacrifice (willingly give up, even though they don't lead us to sin)
She also has posted a prayer to St Isidore that you can say before going online:

Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thy image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thy only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

3 comments:

JoVE said...

I need to consider doing something like this, too. It can't be the same because I use the internet for work as well. But I do get lost in reading blogs sometimes (like now) when I could be interacting with Tigger or doing something more concrete of my own.

Alice said...

This is so important, Willa. Thank you.

KathrynTherese said...

I have been thinking a lot about this, as I watched my teen become overinvolved, and some of my "grown-up friends" too.

Especially for the personality that tends to want to do everything correctly, the Internet can be a black hole where our time and energy gets sucked away. You have to keep in touch with others' blogs so you can link to the good stuff and keep those who visit your blog informed. You need to talk with them about the how-to's of blogging and the what's news. Before you know it, time has been wasted.

I give myself time limits and whatever doesn't get done wasn't meant to be done that day. It's a constant prioritizing and letting a LOT of things fall through the cracks, but time at the screen sharing my thoughts with others is not what God intended for my day.

We all need reminders to keep this thing in check. After all, we like each other and like to hear from each other! It's the 21st century "coffee clutch." We don't go to the market in the piazza for dinner ingredients and visit with one another. But we do need to be sure we're not spending more time than we should be...