Thursday, June 26, 2014

Surfing the Web

Surfing the web is a  phrase we hear often referring to the practice of browsing web sites and looking for something of interest. A religious sister who has made a study of media, and spirituality writes on the subject in the Catholic Times. She is moved by the interest that she sees of those who are surfing  and their expressions, very much like children who are absorbed in playing computer games.

The ocean of Information on  the Internet is waiting for us to access it.  Those who are on the beach waiting for the wave to surf-ride, she explains to her readers, are moving back and forth, which has  a similarity to what we call surfing the web. However, she says, in surfing the web it might seem that searching on the Internet will require reading and absorption, but she uses a study that says most do not spend more than 5 minutes at any one site. Consequently, she calls this more like shopping than reading.

Many people nowadays begin their search on the Internet in the morning, like having someone waiting for them to deal with the boring hours of their trip. However, when this practice becomes a habit, there will be problems in concentrating on a subject for any period  of time. We don't have the patience to read a book, and  we lose the ability to examine and look into ourselves. Searching is fast and easy, we are instantly gratified, which makes the painstaking effort necessary to do  a serious study the old way difficult. 

When  accustomed to a way of doing something, and repeating it often this becomes an embedded habit that will influence all we say and do. Easily to see how this will affect our spiritual life, the slow and deep contemplative way of living will be pushed to the edges. Prayer, liturgy, efforts to listen to sermons will all be affected. The structures of our  brains will be affected by what we do and think, and in time will change the world in which we live.

St.Francis de Sales says that there are those who are very busy and occupied  with others who are meticulously and carefully in search of God. This search rather than be quick and easy is slow and patient. We should not give our space and time for  deep thinking to the searching on the Internet. Especially when traveling on the subway, we should bury our smart phones in our traveling bag and take out a  'book'. Is it not then we can be open to meeting God?

No comments:

Post a Comment