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The internet is a blessed tool of information-hounding and long-distance connecting. But if we’re honest, we know it can literally suck the life and love out of our day-to-day existence.
Whether it’s bouncing from one interesting article to another, scrolling through a newsfeed, browsing a slew of pins and pictures, or succumbing to the seemingly endless litany of emails, private messages, and texts that come at us, we have to be intentional to pull away from it all in order to enjoy moments of fully present, unplugged living.
That’s what prompted me to list all the things I love more than the internet. As though I have to be reminded, right? But I’m finding that I do. And it helps.
If the way I choose to spend my time doesn’t reflect the things I love most, something’s amiss. This list will look different from person to person, but I hope what I’ve come up with will be relatable and at least get the juices flowing for exploring what you think is worth unplugging for.
The top ten are people–my people–because while the internet does often help to connect us with others, it can also distract us from those with whom we ought to be most concerned (read: who should receive our greatest love and attention).
- My husband
- My kids
- My parents
- My brother
- My grandparents
- My other extended family
- My in-laws
- My church family
- My friends
- My neighbors
- Reading a book with real pages
- Writing, especially with a pen
- Creating something tasty
- Sharing something tasty
- Journaling (Bullet or otherwise)
- Live Music
- Shared Meals
- Deep Conversations
- Storm Watching
- Playing Games
- Taking a hot bath or shower
- Literally stopping to smell the roses (or any other lovely flower)
- Thinking my own thoughts
- Quiet moments on the front porch
- Book Store Browsing
- Hand-written letters
- Deep Breathing
- People Watching
- Planning and Problem Solving
- Not being behind on financial record keeping (or other area of life management)
The internet may at times be a means to some of these ends, but it is not one of the ends itself. That distinction is an important one to keep in view.
What I’ve listed above are wonderful but temporal things. Let’s not forget the transcendent, the eternal. As a Christian, the greatest privilege I have is knowing God through the Lord Jesus Christ. All of the good gifts of this life (many of which are listed above) come from Him and are vehicles through which I can appreciate and adore Him.
Beyond (or should I say above?) these things, seeking the Lord in prayer, worship, meditation, and Bible study are to the spiritual life what eating and breathing are to the physical. And while the internet does indeed provide tools that can enhance these activities, it is at best no replacement and at worst can rob these pursuits of the quiet that is necessary for discerning God’s voice above any and all others.
So what about you? What do you love more than the internet?
If you would like to dive deeper into this subject, I highly recommend 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke. It’s a fantastic read.