Having been and fought addiction, in various types since the age of six, I am able to see when addiction is making its reappearance in other forms. In 1989, I enjoyed a life of having had one major employer since 1973, had the proverbial “American Dream” with a five bedroom, suburban house, three car garaged, six figured income, with all the gadgets and delight one could have until that one day when seeking for something I hadn’t had would begin a spiral having me losing everything two years later, a drug run for 15 years, homelessness, institutionalized, suicide attempted and prison several times. Very few things are as beautiful as a spiral thrown from the hand of a quarterback which soars upward and then downward into the hands of a moving receiver to score a touchdown. When it is done in real life, it becomes a sad existence and many are having such lives because of an “Internet Addiction” and/or “Facebook Addiction”.
Try and remember your life before Facebook or the Internet. How many of you spent an inordinate amount of time and you felt guilty about it, watching too much television? Well, that beast seems to be licked, doesn’t it! Except for the fact it has been replaced with the Internet and Facebook. While I am all for modernization and technology, the compartmentalizing of the various things we did all in one place, convenience, it has replaced other social and societal values which was the scheme of the devil all along. Many of us have friends all over the world and don’t know the people next door to us, or we know someone so much more intimately than our own husbands and wives! While we are aware of world events, we haven’t a clue what is occurring in our local government. Even our church experience is affected. Today, I carry my Bible, several versions, church hymnal and I don’t sing, Sabbath School quarterly, and I haven’t attended in over 30 years, and a compendium library all in digital form on my phone/tablet! Can videotape a sermon for the benefit of others because I’m just there in person but not for me, personally! Much has changed because of technology.
How many bedrooms are entered by only one member of a couple and the other will follow at some other time? And while there is the separation how many are engaged in activities the other spouse would become angered? Or, have they both separated, making whatever excuse because both have an “Internet date” with someone else’s spouse who has done the exact same thing? How many digital photographs, instant messages, emails, etc., are deleted after a session? How many digital wives or husbands have seen the naked body of their digital mates and hide their own bodies from their reality spouses? Being retired, when I wake up, my laptop goes on. It stays on until I go to sleep some eighteen hours later and during that time, while I attempt to do a good amount of religious study and research and writing, how much time is devoted to Facebook, where the results of this study and research is posted, but there is involvement which is not healthy and profitable to anyone?
Some may have “ooed” and “aahed” about the time I’m online, but should I be “ooing” and “aahing” because you are still working and online through the mobile you carry WHILE AT WORK! How many connections are still connected? There was a time when you may have had an office phone and limited to how many personal calls you made but that is now over because who doesn’t carry their own mobile today? While sneaking or even openly having chats around the world what is right in front of you remain untouched and undone!
I know of my “downward spiral” which took me from the French-doored master bedroom of my suburban New York home to the abandoned building of a crackhouse. Took me from the comfort of a loving wife to the incessant noise of 140 other men on the tier behind bars. From dining in whatever restaurant I wanted to patronize to the tray being held over so another inmate can scoop some slop and you hope you can at least get it down in the 7 minute rush you’re given to swallow your food. Today, the “downward spiral” is very subtle. Many of you are already on the downward path and because either you’re ignorant to an addiction or in denial you cannot realize what is not only happening to you and those around you, you are grinning as if everything is alright while your life is slowly disintegrating around you.
You’ve been warned!