Friday, October 24, 2008

Internet Addiction

My heart aches this morning as I look at the front page of the Star Newspaper. There is a mom being hugged by a supporter. Her son is gone. He disappeared on Thanksgiving Day in Canada – 13 days ago.

They are now looking in the bush around the area and also offering a huge reward for information of his whereabouts.

Is it a criminal case – maybe someone kidnapped him and has taken him far away? No – it is worse. The Xbox game that his parents gave him and a stupid game – called “Call or Duty 4” has kidnapped their son. He is addicted. When they took the game away from him – again for the 21st time… he reacted and took off…. and hasn’t been seen since.

The potential tragedy is that he has possibly hidden in the bush – maybe even acting out what the game portrays and could be suffering from the cold weather – or even worse.

This is one really bad example of something so much fun – having gone really bad. His is addicted. It isn’t Meth or Crack or something evil like these drugs – it is a stupid game that has taken his mind far, far away. His mom and dad didn’t lose him on Thanksgiving – it happened long before that.

But “Call of Duty 4” is not the only problem. Another very popular game is “World of Warcraft”. It has also grabbed many hundreds of thousands at any one time to suck the Brain JUICE from them.

I have met many locally that have confessed that they play this game for hours upon hours at a time. They buy time to play with real money and then spend REAL TIME – even working hours at a good jobs that they skip to stay home and play. Some have lost their jobs because of it.

Some have lost their marriages as well.

One Bible College student that I spoke with has finally left his studies entirely and taken a simple job to allow him more time to play the game and simply buy the on-line time that he needs to play.

This addiction is real.

Brandon Crisp’s story shows us a really sad tale that has come about because of an addiction.
In my real life I have discovered another group of “addicted beings”. They are people that can never leave the Internet alone… they have email-itis, chat room fever, text message pains and a need to be constantly connected.

The old days of teens being hooked on a telephone and a call from outside not getting in… is gone. They now have moved on to many other kinds of communication tools…gaming…texting…cell phones… you name it.

The really odd thing is the parents have joined them. I know a mother that Text messages her son in the bedroom when supper is ready. I know a married couple that never talk except when they dialogue on the World of Warcraft from two different machines in the same house!!!! Now that is weird. But then I saw a couple Text Message each other across the table when on a DATE with each other. NO KIDDING! It really happened.

When my electronics comes between me and FRESH AIR I have a problem. When my Gaming comes between me and my family there is trouble brewing. When my e-World tries to take over my real world – I have e-PROBLEMS… and need deliverance.

The Christian faith has within it a belief that Jesus, our Savor, will return for us all. It is called the Rapture in the Christian tradition. I am afraid today for most so called Christians – they will miss the rapture call on that last day because of their complete addiction to the e-WORLD they are in.

Recently in a family setting where we were sharing after the funeral … a group of the departed grandmother’s grandchildren were all in the basement of the family home – playing games. It was the first up front exposure with World of Warcraft that I had. About 15 people were in the room watching the action of three of them on three laptops that were set up playing WOW. The young adults told me of days when some will call in sick to their jobs – because they played the game all night. They also told me stories of how they play through the night and on into the day – pausing moments to call in sick… and continuing to play all day. It was all that some could do to attend the FUNERAL of their GRANDMOTHER…because they had to leave the game on pause!!!!

Now that is addictive life styling. But did it ever look like fun!

In a Pastor’s Group I connect with on the Internet I have found great support and great people that pray with me and stay with me through thick and thin. But sadly a number in that group are there all the time… I mean ALL THE TIME!

If I visit their comments in the morning… and read it all… it keeps me up to date and in the conversations all the way… if I wait until the evening to look again there are HUNDREDS of posts that have come in that same day – from the same group. I can count posts from certain people and the number would stagger you… and it might stagger their own congregations…. AND I HAVE TO KEEP MYSELF IN CHECK ON THIS ONE… I read everything… and think about it a lot… and I know where I have to cut back….

Do you have that same urge to be always connected? Could it be that even solitaire has a hold on you?

Read the article that is shown with this “Source:” below. See if you can identify with it.

Have a FRESH AIR DAY… and connect with someone not on the Internet! Real people are good too.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


No comments: