Master of the Internet?

InternetMasteryDid you know that over 1.5 billion people now use the Internet? That’s nearly one quarter of the earth’s total population (stats). Nearly 250 billion emails are sent every day (source). And there are nearly 700 million unique visits each month to social networks like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter that didn’t even exist a decade ago (stats and usage).

No technology adoption has grown as quickly as the Internet. It connects people around the world and around the clock. But things can become masters. The apostle Paul wrote, “‘Everything is permissible for me’—but I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12 NIV).

A friend of mine, not too long ago, informed me that he had recently sold his boat. This shocked me. He loved that boat, often spending weekends away on the water. When I asked why, he said simply, “It was beginning to own me.” My friend had applied a great spiritual discipline by asking, “Is anything mastering me today?”

Let’s ask the same question about our Internet usage. Has it been mastering me in any way? Here are some ways to can ask yourself that question:

Take the BoldMan VitalSigns Poll. This quick, three question poll is designed to stimulate your thinking on this topic from a Christian perspective. Click here.

Take the Internet Addiction Test. This test has been designed the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery. It will help you assess whether you have a problem and offer some suggested help. Click here.

Take a sabbatical test. Schedule a day, or longer, to extricate yourself from online activity. Take note about how that separation affects your level of anxiety, stress or outlook on life.

It’s a big Internet out there. Here’s to your mastery of it!

What ways have you found to remain master of the Internet?

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