I realize that everyone could give many different reasons as to why they are into reading blogs or watching reality tv, but I think there are some similarities, good and bad.
First, there's the question of is this really reality? I think very few people are convinced anymore that so-called "reality" tv is actually real. At its worst it's likely to be very scripted and one can't trust that any of it is void of scripted antics merely for the sake of sensationalism. And yet at it's best, it can't truly be real either. After all, if there were tv cameras at your house would everything go as normal? Would you still be in your pajamas while you drink your morning coffee? Would your tone change as you correct your children?
The Duggars, although slightly controversial, I think most would agree represent such a positive view in "reality" tv, and yet I am certain there are things not realistic in their portrayal. For example, you never see the older girls just after they wake up before their hair is perfect or their makeup is on. And even the older boys, father, and mother are rarely seen without looking put together. I am not saying this is bad or criticizing them for it, because honestly, I think I would strive to do the same in their situation, merely to point out that even when the intentions are to be completely forthright and honest in reflecting the reality of this family, it's still not truly an accurate portrayal of day to day life, and I wouldn't expect it to be so.
I think the same can be said of blogging. I don't think most people who are writing a blog are actively seeking to be misleading or dishonest, but like reality tv, we either think no one wants to see the ugly side of life (which honestly, we don't for the most part), or we only blog when we think we have something of some relevance to say.
There's a danger I think in both when it comes to the reality of both. The truth is we don't really know people on reality shows, but we don't usually really know the people who write the blogs we follow either. And yet, it's so weird how we feel as though we do. Because both venues seemingly open the lives and homes of total strangers to us as if we were close family or friends, we feel a relationship with them when none exists. Even when I look to blogs as entertaining or for useful information or as a tool for learning more, I can't help but feel a relationship with the person writing it, though they be a total stranger. And worse still, there is not a relationship with anything other than my computer/iphone! And the relationships, or potential relationships, with the real people that I see daily all around me can somehow take a backseat in priority to reading the latest about my beloved blog friends.
I'm not suggesting that watching reality tv or reading blogs are in and of themselves a sin or wrong, merely that I think they have the potential to keep us from our reality. They can keep us from having meaningful relationships with our families and neighbors, and worse as a Christian from witnessing to those around us. I realize that anything can become an idol, and don't even get me started on social networking (fb, I'm talking to you!) and how it's pulled me from those I love, but the potential through our computers and phones to make it so much easier to get lost in a virtual world of unreality no matter how many real people are behind it, is frankly scary.
"All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not."-1 Corinthians 10:23
This isn't a new year's resolution, but I am going to try, by God's grace to get out of this web pulling me away from those around me. My phone is just going to have to be a phone again, and though I do still plan on blogging, I don't plan on reading blogs as much. I want to see and talk to my kids and my husband and my neighbors, no offense, but God has put me directly into their lives for a reason, and I feel as though I have often neglected them.
This is totally my sin, not to start a ban on blogging/internet ;)
The internet and blogging and fb have all been wonderful tools for me, and I will continue to use them as such, but I don't want to do it, or anything else for that matter, to the neglect of my home or others. I hope my kids see me accessing a tool, but not seeking it over them.
"Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."-Philippians 4:4-13
So, how do you keep your use of technology and social media in check? How do you involve your family in them? Is there anything you would change about your use of them?
"But godliness with contentment is great gain."-1 Timothy 6:6
God make me content to be with those You have given me influence over, and keep me from idolatry of any kind. I pray that you would make me value You above all else, and that I would seek to serve others rather than my selfish desires for a life outside of Your will. I pray that it would be You and not me to influence, and that no matter what You would be most glorified in my life.