Tuesday, February 21, 2012

There are “apps” for everything—and also ways to stay spiritually grounded in a digital world.

This Ensign talk was a really good reminder and wake-up call for me. Dustin(my cute boyfriend) has a favorite saying when others or myself is on our cell phone too long and that is "get out of your digital world"! So true! How much time do people spend in the same room and they don't even talk to each other because they are all on their phones, in their own little worlds! I am going to try so much better to set aside designated time to get my "technological" things done or surf the web. I am going to call people more often than text them...or so I'm going to try. I think that this technology hurts peoples communication skills, I think that it has for me in some ways. I am going to try and "unplug" a lot more!

They can keep us in touch with loved ones far away—and isolate us from those in our own homes.

They can save us time in paying bills and reading the news—and consume it in answering e-mails and posting status updates.

They can help us study and share the gospel—and cause us to idle away our time and drive away the Spirit.

They can mobilize us to serve others—and keep us self-absorbed, focused on an unending stream of meaningless minutiae.

They can educate, energize, elevate, and inspire us—and they can distract, enervate, addict, and destroy us.

Using Internal Filters and Seeking the Best
By far the most important and effective type of filter is inside the mind and heart of the user. These five filter questions can be a good first step to staying in tune and in balance:
1. Am I using this technology to learn or to teach?
2. Am I using it to build faith and testimony in myself and others?
3. Am I using it to entertain in uplifting ways?
4. Am I giving enough undistracted in-person time to family and friends?
5. Am I devoting enough time to work, school, Church callings, and physical exercise?

10 Signs of Digital Overload
1. Slipping away from activities with people to check e-mail or social networking sites.
2. Checking the same sites repeatedly within a short period of time.
3. Spending little time outside.
4. Finding it hard to complete a task such as writing a report without frequently breaking away to check e-mail or unrelated websites.
5. Spending little time in face-to-face interactions with friends.
6. Going online or using a digital device when you feel stressed or want to avoid an unpleasant task.
7. Family members spending most of their time at home in separate rooms interacting with screens.
8. Frequently using digital devices to entertain a child instead of talking, singing, playing, or reading with him or her.
9. Checking the computer first thing in the morning, or getting up during the night to use digital devices.
10. Spending long stretches of time surfing for content, often viewing content that is inappropriate or borderline.

10 Ways to Cut Back
1. Check and answer e-mail only once or twice a day, at scheduled times.
2. Use social networking sites only at scheduled times and for a set number of minutes.
3. Practice a “digital Sabbath”—setting aside one or two days each week to “unplug.”
4. Leave your cell phone in another room during time with family or friends.
5. Call instead of texting.
6. Invite children to help search the house for supplies that can be used in nondigital activities: children’s books, board games, art supplies, and equipment for outside play.
7. Organize a talent show, art show, or service project with family or friends.
8. Use Internet-blocking software to keep on task while working.
9. Limit recreational surfing; watch TV and videos selectively and intentionally.
10. Keep a gospel-centered perspective, using technology to uplift yourself and people around you.

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