Default is Internet

By: Fr. Francis Ongkingco

MENTORS and coaches strive to identity their clients’ most positive traits and how these can be improved. Naturally, they also have to spot what are the common snags and pitfalls, experienced in work and social dealings, that hinder their positive points from developing.

In the process of the conversation, they are not so interested in just hearing and solving what may not have gone well in the client’s life and work. They strive to synthesize the issues raised and find the root cause of inefficiency and unproductivity.

The same approach also applies when helping the young be more productive in their studies and social relationships. When we observe how they multi-task, interact on social networks, watch movies, listen to music, and play video games, we know that most of these happen within a unique venue: the internet.

When the youth raise alarming issues such as insecurity and suicidal tendencies, addiction to pornography or games, inability to relate to parents and siblings, a declining performance in schoolwork and real social life, etc., we can also conclude that these have resulted from having converted the internet into a default setting.

The internet which ought to be a means to an end, has now become—due to its accessibility through mobile gadgets and tablets—a default component for the young. It is their ‘world’ of learning, socializing, and entertainment. What’s wrong with this? Nothing, if only they were better equipped to maximize the web to integrally improve themselves and their relationships.

To maximize a tool like the internet entails two things: using it for what it is best for (an information hub) and also moderating its use so that the user may also engage in other realities that the net cannot genuinely offer (family ties, friendships, and practical skills).

When both young and old are not intellectually and emotionally disciplined to utilize the internet, they end up being absorbed by it instead of absorbing things from it. The result is mental laziness, addiction, and misinformation when one lacks critical skills to verify content. This condition easily breeds vice in the form of pornography, cyber-sex, drugs and games, etc.

A possible solution here is striving to see how the internet need not be one’s default lifestyle hub. Undoubtedly, the net is globally growing in content and accessibility. But we must also grow and develop by employing moderation and prudence in its use.

When we learn to use it properly, we create sacred spaces allowing us to immerse in other enriching realities that the internet can never provide: for example, walking barefoot on the grass, playing under the rain, inhaling the mountain’s fresh air, and listening to the heartbeats of our loved ones! (http://cbcpnews.net)

 

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