I'm sure I'm not the only mom in the world who is concerned about the rate at which my children consume the internet. Whether it is Instagram or Pinterest or Facebook, my children seem to spend a ton of time sitting on the couch looking into their mini-screens. Even though I have placed plenty of restrictions and confiscate those screens on a regular basis, I still worry about how much time they are putting into a virtual world.
That said, I'm sure I'm not the only mom in the world who is also concerned about the rate at which I myself consume the internet. It's not unheard of for me to sit down at my computer in order to be productive and do my banking or some writing or catch up on emails and find myself standing up an hour later having forgotten what I set out to do in the first place. Instead I got caught up in Facebook (that's my biggest temptation) and am shocked at how much time passes as I read status updates, comment on my friends' photos, and watch stupid viral videos.
It's something that's on my mind a lot—we even had a Family Home Evening lesson about it and talk about it often at our house. We have introduced electronics free Sundays, and are working hard to get the girls doing meaningful activities before they pick up their devices.
Still, it remains an issue for all of us.
That's why I loved Ryan Anderson's book Navigating the Cyberscape. In it, he outlines the positive and negative influences of the virtual world and offers tips for navigating it in a healthy and positive way.
"On the cyberscape, we can find things that enrich our lives and benefit us in a multitude of ways. At the same time, we can find things that at best can bog our lives down with meaningless drivel and at worst can become a major disruption to our lives, if not the very source of our personal downfall."~Ryan Anderson, "Navigating the Cyberscape"
I'll be honest, I let the internet bog my life down with meaningless drivel too often. As a blogger, there's a chance that I might actually be the source of meaningless drivel that is bogging your lives down. I hope not, but this book made me take a step back and think about how I can be more purposeful and uplifting in the things I write about in my little corner of the internet.
I especially loved the chapter on how to use social media in a healthy way. Excellent information—some of which I already knew and lived by—presented in such a manner that I really thought about how I spend my time online and what kinds of things I am putting out there for the world to see.
If you or your children ever spend time online (and since you're reading this, you can't tell me that you don't!), this book is an important read. In closing, I'll leave you with the million dollar question that Dr. Anderson poses in the beginning of the book and let you ponder it. I'll also tell you that my personal answer to this question wasn't what I would hope it would be.
"So, here's the million dollar question: How healthy is your relationship with the cyberworld, including social media, texting, smartphones, video games, email, and the internet in general?
"How functional is your relationship with the cyberworld in relation to the other important areas of your life: work, education, relationships, personal development, healthy physical habits, values and ethics, and giving adequate time, attention, and priority to those things you value most?"
Ask me this question again in a couple months—I'm really hoping that my answer is much more to my liking then!
Purchase Navigating the Cyberscape by Ryan Anderson:
It is also available in the Kindle Lending Library for Amazon Prime members, and can be read using Kindle Unlimited for those who subscribe to that service.
I received an electronic copy of the book via the author in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.
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