The Internet has it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Like everything in life, it’s a battleground of good and evil, best navigated by staying near to God. 

The Good

Prior to the Internet, computers were euphoric enough for a writer: cutting and pasting versus starting over with a clean sheet of paper. And research no longer required a library card and childcare.

Everything is now at our fingertips.  While writing this article, my 14-year-old, doing homework beside me, asked a question about the International Dateline. In an instant, I had an answer for him and we returned to our work, side by side.

I want the connection the Internet allows in our crazy world: radio stations, email and Skype with loved ones, my favorite religious websites for news and inspiration, Facebook for close friends and those you’d have lost touch with otherwise, good recipes, and quick medical information. People have converted through the Internet, fact-finding, inspiration, and debates.

Life is easier, from making reservations and price comparisons to online auctions and ordering used books, gifts, and specialty items.  The Internet’s convenience gives us many hours of saved time that we most likely spend on the Internet.

The Bad

Time, our most precious commodity slips away easily. On the other side of lost time are family, chores, work, prayer, sleep, and friendships.

I love Facebook for the connection it allows, but do I really need to know so many inane things? Newspapers, magazines and books are going by the wayside, along with our attention span. And writing, art, and music often are used without payment or credit to the creator.

The Ugly

Vice is more convenient with the Internet; ask any gambler or porn addict.  And porn is not just free and easy, it’s a ubiquitous and aggressive predator

Bullying and humiliation are easier.  I once saw a woman screaming into her husband’s hidden camera, thereby starring in the video he put on You Tube prior to filing for divorce.  I didn’t even know those people and why was I watching that?  I don’t remember.  We become voyeurs into other people’s business and have killed off brain cells watching so many dumb videos.

What is the price of lost sleep and loss of time spent with our families?  Squandered time and a lesser existence.

I’m not giving up the Internet, but I pray for God’s guidance.

Prayer for the Internet

- by Patti Maguire Armstrong

Dear Lord, give me your protection as I use the Internet.

Keep me from darkness,

Surround me with your light.

Help me act always in love.

In the company of your angels and saints,

Guide my path to sites that glorify You.

Be my timekeeper and filter.

Let me hear Your Divine call to my duties,

Repel me by anything against You.

Guide me to evangelizing opportunities,

And send your Holy Spirit with the words.

Let the Godly draw me stronger than the worldly

Keep me from self-indulgence and addiction.

Thank you, Lord, for the blessings of technology.

Forgive me for the times I have misused it.

And in all things, lead me closer to You.

Copyright 2014 Patti Maguire Armstrong