Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mental Quicksand

If anyone still doubts the depth of what the Internet has done to the world, the fact some of us think it’s an addiction should eliminate them. I don’t think I’m the only who’s noticed the buzz. About fifteen seconds ago, I typed “internet addiction” into Google. Instantly the list of suggestions popped up. They burst with queries about it. One click and my computer screen drowned with headlines, to the tune of “Center for Online and Internet Addiction, “Psych Central – Internet Addiction and Online Addiction”, and more.

Whether or not it’s medical, some of us have an online problem.

Including myself. I got my homework done today, like a good little boy. And then blew off a good hour streaming music on YouTube. With the first note of “Love Addict” by Family Force 5, the world was gone. The mellow sun outside the windows, the books and beds within the windows; everything whirled away, and my mind sunk into my laptop screen. 

It was a quicksand. I’ve sunken many times. I’m guessing some of you reading this have too. Is it indeed a medical condition? Never have I used drugs, and of alcohol I’ve only taken a sip. So I know nothing about what a medical addiction is like. I’m convinced, though, that this has to be some of kind of addiction. I can’t speak for you, but for me, I can feel it sucking away, nudging away the things that better fulfill me: visiting my friends, my human friends, playing outside and working on something meaningful.

This sounds like Satan. This sounds immensely like the way he tries to keep us down, and rope us down so we can’t go for the good things of life. C.S. Lewis once spoke of what we become when we let that happen. For him, it was “like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” 

Don’t read this wrong. There is a host of good things to do with the Internet that’s as large as… well, the Internet itself. But we must have it under control. I must have it under control. No one can live a full life with two masters, after all.

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