What I ask myself when technology makes me crazy

by Susan Stilwell



                               

typing handsTechnology frustrates me. Can I get an Amen from anybody?

I’ve been wrestling with a technical issue and, as of this writing, we haven’t been able to resolve it. I say “we” because the problem is beyond my ability to fix, so I’m paying someone to fix it for me.

Yes I have a degree in computer science, which makes me think I should have the upper hand on technical problems. But I earned that degree back in the 80s, so more than a few things have changed since then. Besides shoulder pads and big hair.

And technology is changing so fast it’s hard to keep up.

We get the latest “new thing” that’s supposed to make our lives easier, and it ends up being one more thing to distract/confound/irritate us. I’ve noticed that I’m becoming increasingly frustrated when my gadgets/apps don’t behave the way they’re designed. I find myself spending way too much time trying to fix or work around issues, which makes me wonder:

Is this more important than it should be?
If I lost it tomorrow, would I be in a tailspin?

I sometimes sense the Holy Spirit chiding me and revealing that some of these things, while good and useful, might be taking more of my focus than He desires.

For instance, the first thing I do when I wake up is grab my phone and check for messages. One of the last things I do before I go to bed is check Facebook. And it’s not just me. “Google” that and see for yourself.

Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with email or Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or Pinterest or your favorite social media site. But my personal conviction is that they’re higher priorities than they need to be in my life. So I’m prayerfully evaluating my habits and attitudes toward all things gadget-y, and trying not get so worked up when I have a problem with something.

After all, many of these things will be obsolete in 5 years. The things of God, however–growing in Christlikeness and focusing on His purposes–are the things that last forever.

What about YOU?

Have you ever considered how much time and energy your gadgets take? Do you feel like you’re keeping them in proper perspective?

Email Author    |    Website About Susan Stilwell

Susan Stilwell is a wife to Steve, mom to Scott and Sarah. After that, she writes, teaches, blogs and speaks. If you want to see her get really excited, ask her about her travels to Israel! One of Susan’s favorite things to do is to chat over coffee. And don’t forget your smartphone and laptop — this former programmer is full of helpful hints! You can connect with Susan on her websiteTwitterFacebook, Instagram, or Google+

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sandi October 29, 2013 at 10:25 am

Oh, Susan, I COMPLETELY know where you are coming from! While I want to be a ‘part’ of the techy world…I also don’t want to be ‘in’ the techy world. Life WAS so much easier back in the day. But I’m so very thankful that the Holy Spirit quietly nudges me back into His Word…back to ‘still and quiet waters’…aaahhhh…. Facebook can’t give me THAT! :d

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2 Susan Stilwell October 29, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Oh yes, Sandi — the still and quiet waters. I’ve got a feeling we’ll transition back to that, and let all the social media stuff move to the back of the pack where it belongs.

Thanks for taking time to read and comment!

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3 Nikki October 29, 2013 at 10:58 am

YES! I am learning this as we…”speak” 🙂
This pregnancy has pulled me away from my screen time by force. And I’m so surprised to discover I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would. That maybe I’m hearing Him louder and seeing Him more clearly than I was when I was pouring my heart out to Him on the screen. Anxious to see what this means for Him and I in the future…but for now I will savor our private courting and still enjoy the brief moments I get to check in on those I see Him through…like YOU, Susan! {HUGS}

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4 Susan Stilwell October 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Hugs back to you, Nikki! I’ve been praying for you, and I hope you’re feeling good during your pregnancy. Mercy, I was dead-dog tired when I was pregnant, and so I hope you’re getting time to rest and take care of yourself. I love the image of private courting with the Lord. Maybe if we all had that image it’d be easier to walk away from the chaos of the day and sit at His feet?

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5 Kathleen Caron October 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

Yes, I have considered how much time and energy my gadgets take, which is why I refer to my “crack phone.” I may have to go into rehab, but I am praying about how to be more invested in real time. Although I do love reading and commenting on blogs, yours especially 😉

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6 Susan Stilwell October 31, 2013 at 7:04 am

Oh Kathleen, I always referred to my Blackberry as my Crackberry! It’s so hard sometimes. We need our gadgets for so many things, so it’s easy to get distracted. I think I’ll be a work-in-progress on this for a long time.

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7 Marisa Shadrick October 29, 2013 at 11:50 am

Susan, I’m glad things are starting to work. I know how frustrating it can be. But remember, Christian readers are more understanding than social media statistics.

Online ministry is difficult, and it’s a dance. I have wrestled with the same questions, but this I know, God has called me (And from your content, I believe He has called you).

He will guide us and help us prioritize our days. He will open doors (offline or online) to spread His message of hope.

The internet and social media is an extraordinary tool to spread the Gospel throughout the world. We are here for “such a time as this” and to take back what the enemy has used for evil. Our gadgets allow us the opportunity to touch the nations through prayer, and a simple keyboard.

May God continue to bless you, your family and your ministry. 🙂

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8 Susan Stilwell October 31, 2013 at 7:05 am

Thank you SO MUCH for that, Marisa. Your encouragement means more thank you know. It’s good to have a friend “lift your head” from time to time, and affirm your calling 🙂

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9 Marisa Shadrick October 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm

It’s you who has lifted my head. I just sponsored a World Vision child from Lesotho, Africa. My previous sponsored children all grew up, and it was time to begin again. Your voice is making a difference! 🙂 Blessings!

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10 Beth October 29, 2013 at 1:09 pm

When I left for Guatemala I kept all the gadget-y things at home. I thought I’d miss them but it was so refreshing to be without them. It can be hard to find that balance as I also believe none of these things are bad things, but when they have priority in our life they are. I’ve got to remember this in the morning when I wake ready to devote my time to Him. I too easily allow myself to be distracted and soon find myself on Facebook or Twitter. Great post, Susan. Many blessings to you.

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11 Susan Stilwell October 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I took my phone to Guatemala, but left everything else. You’re so right, Beth — it felt like way less stress! And I had time to visit and chat (when I wasn’t snapping pics and uploading them). I’ve started charging my phone in the evenings during dinner. I leave it upstairs so it’s not within arm’s reach, and it’s amazing how much more relaxed I am. Yes, I definitely feel the Holy Spirit up to something 🙂

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12 Vonda Skelton October 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I’m sooo there with you, Susan. I’m currently reevaluating my priorities when it comes to social media. I expect I’m going to have a new schedule after the first of the year. 🙂

Glad I’m not the only one struggling with this.

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13 Susan Stilwell October 31, 2013 at 7:06 am

No you’re not, Vonda. And as necessary as our gadgets are in our culture, I think it’s something we’ll be continually dealing with.
I can’t wait to see your new schedule!

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14 Cathy Baker October 29, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Great post, Susan. I often battle the pressure (from myself) to start a twitter account and other basic social media groups but at this point in my life, it’s simply not worth my time. I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to rest in this knowledge.

Your words were a source of encouragement today. Thank you!

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15 Susan Stilwell October 31, 2013 at 7:07 am

Your plate is plenty full these days, Cathy. Yes, if I wasn’t already connected the way I am, I’d definitely rethink it. I think you’re doing a great job and seem to be keeping your priorities straight 🙂

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16 Vickie McCubbin November 3, 2013 at 6:14 am

Susan, It is a comfort to know that you pick up your phone first thing in the morning and check FB before going to bed. I’m feeling convicted that God should come before and after anything in my life. I’ll let you know if I make any progress with my media habit. Vickie

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17 lain November 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm

If God loves us so much,

then why are we slowly being dehumanized?

Why would God let something like that happen to us?

Oh yeah… 😛

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18 Deb November 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

Thank you for leaving your comment Lain. I took some time to share my answer today at Counting My Blessings. Hope you’ll stop by. Deb

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