This week’s subject is one that is near to me. Last year, I realized that I was addicted to my computer, iPod and the internet. I had been trying to hide from my emotions by being constantly occupied with my computer. While I was mostly able to cover my fears, I was depressed from lack of intimacy with others. Postman states, “The computer is, in a sense, a magnificent toy that distracts us from facing what we most needed to confront — spiritual emptiness, knowledge of ourselves, usable conceptions of the past and future.” (Postman, 1990)

Schultze states, “Informationism encourages informational promiscuity: impersonal relationships based on feigned intimacies and lacking moral integrity.” (Schultze, 2002, p.35) I was being promiscuous with my children and husband. For example, my daughter was being bullied. She was acting strangely, getting poor grades and saying that she wished she were dead. I should have seen those signs, but the computer blinded me.

I do agree with what Postman says about technology having winners and losers. (Postman, 1992) We have given up a lot by our dependency on technology. Tamara noted that some technologies get pushed out by newer ones, like phonebooks for online directories. She points out that this causes us to forget how to use the older technologies.
I think of handwriting. No one takes time to learn to write beautifully anymore. Instead we learn a new texting language. That is useful in it’s own way, but so is handwriting.

Kevin D. Miller writes, “…the Amish have managed to keep technology in check, and in doing so they have fostered a sense of community that many of us yearn for in our electronically tethered and frenetically paced lives.” (Miller, 2011, p.20) I hope that by the end of this class I will have learned how to use technology in a discretionary way.

Miller, K. D. “Technological prudence: What the Amish can teach us.” Christian
reflection: A series in faith and ethics. 38 (2011): 20-28. Print.
Postman, N. (11 Oct. 1990). “Informing ourselves to death.” [Speech] Retrieved
Postman, N. (1992). Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. New York,
NY: Vintage.
Schultze, Q. J. (2002). Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously in the
Information Age. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Tarrance, T. (2011, February 1). TTarrance – Week 1 [Msg. 1] Message posted to:


Informationism is a concern for Christians because it causes us to replace God and His work with technology and the promises it makes to us. I have, personally, let this happen.

Last year, I realized that I was addicted to “surfing” the internet. I was on my computer or my iPod Touch all day long. I rejoiced in being ahead of everyone else in internet “knowledge”.

My children could not speak to me without my eyes continually straying to the computer on my lap. When I realized what was happening and fasted from my computer and iPod, I went through a withdrawal period that scared me. It was obvious that I cared more for the internet than my family. Once I got to the other side of the withdrawal symptoms, it was like the world had become more vibrant and alive.

What Postman and Winner say about technology and information also strikes home with me. My adoption of technological devices went too far. I gave up the joy of laughter with my children and the joy of a pleasant and clean home. I also gave up a real knowledge of my family. I was disseminating them like I did the internet. Of course, with my addiction in continual check, I have gained the ability to learn via this program. I don’t believe I would have ever gone to school in a traditional setting again.

Progress is always a two-sided sword. As Postman states, there are always winners and losers. It is hard for me to say that it hasn’t made the world a better place in that I do not want to wash my clothes in tub of water outside, for example. But morally, I think that all of this technology has contributed to a decline. People do not see a need for relying on God any more. After all, they have machines to take care of them.

Elaine has been fasting from the internet, so I am posting this for her. It is exciting to see what God is doing in her durring her fast. Stay tuned for renewed blogging zeal when she returns. Here is an excerpt from a sermon she gave telling about her decision:

I did not fully realize what was going on, but God guided me to the realization that for the past 3 years I have slowly grown more addicted to the internet. Last fall, I heard about a place for people to go to recover from addiction to the internet and computer. I chuckled at the thought. I knew there could be addiction to anything, but at that time, I didn’t really take it seriously.

It started out as a coping mechanism for depressed feelings. While I was on the internet, I could forget everything I was feeling about myself. It has recently been total isolation of myself from my life and family.

My in-laws expressed concern in September and I didn’t believe that it was so bad. I fought against the idea that I was allowing it to control me. At Christmas, we talked about it again. Chris knew the truth, but was patiently waiting for the Holy Spirit to bring me to place where I could accept it. He stood up for me with his parents because I had been trying to control my internet use while I was there.

Since then, God has been showing me how much I was letting it control me. Finally, about 2 weeks ago, God convinced me to fast the computer for a day. One day without any computer at all. I felt like I had lost my lifeblood. It was a ridiculous feeling. I knew it wasn’t right to feel that way about a silly computer. Computers are good tools, but bad constant companions.

I was missing so much by retreating into my computer. That day of fasting was enlightening. I was so much more aware of my surrounding and my family. I laughed, really laughed like I hadn’t in a very long time. I enjoyed my children. I saw them. I saw that they needed me. They needed a mom not a person attached to a computer called mom who didn’t do much mothering at all.

That night I made the decision to wait until 8 pm the next day to get on the computer and internet. I decided to do that from that point on. I would not use it while the kids were around. That went well for a few days, but still I was trying to control myself and not letting God control me. That first night that I went back to using the internet at night, the kids were not going to sleep when they should have been and I got very angry with them. It was an irrational anger. That made me realize that I was like a drug addict who needed her fix. My drug of choice is the internet I suppose, which is no better. Exodus 20:3 says, “”You shall have no other gods before me.” I was upset that the kids had dared to interrupt my time with my computer. I disgusted myself with that realization!

I have asked forgiveness, but I must give my computer and it use to God. I must let God control me instead. That is a daily battle.

Right now I am again fasting (and I only tell you this because it is so appropriate to the sermon). I feel I need to see what life can be life without an addiction. After that, I will lay down some ground rules for the computer and try to use it mostly for work. I have a battle ahead of me, but I am no longer hiding from God, but with Him. He is now my hiding place. The computer was not doing a good job of helping me cope because it is not meant to do that. God is.

God can free each of us from the sins that control us. None of us are exempt from the temptation to sin. We are sinful beings who can only be clean through God’s forgiveness. Take the time before communion to examine yourself through God’s eyes, he’ll help you see what needs to be forgiven and changed. He’ll even help you change it. If you would like prayer, please let us pray for you, either while communion is being served or later whenever you are ready. I covet your prayers as I wage war on my addiction.