Introduction

James KA Smith asks a highly critical question: “What do you want?” Anyone who lacks concentration and is just motivated by what they believe or what other people say is right will be shaped by this inquiry. I like the way Smith describes us (human beings); he says, “To be human is to be on the move, pursuing something, after something. We are like existential sharks: we have to move to live. We are not just static containers for ideas; we are dynamic creatures directed toward some end.”[1] Everyone’s life is about the end; you never begin an endeavor or a journey without first considering how it will conclude. Your ability to focus and remain determined depends on your understanding of the end (i.e., the destinations of the aim). When you know what you want, you won’t let anything get in the way. Paul, speaking to the Philippians, said, “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13-14 NIV). Knowing what you want means putting all other objectives aside and going for your goals. WHAT DO YOU WANT would be the sole question.

The use of technology

At times, our technological behavior reflects our desires. I once fell prey to improper usage of technology. I have Candy Crush Saga and Football PS loaded on my phone, tablet, and laptop since I enjoy playing computer games. These two games have consumed at least 70% of my time, with Candy Crush Saga taking center stage. I take advantage of any chance to play the game, including when I’m eating, and I do it at home and work.  I don’t get on my phone or tablet for 30 minutes without playing the game. My addiction to the game caused me to cut off contact with friends and family. I became alone to give my game adequate time, not because I wanted to be closer to God. I tell my friends and family that I get rejuvenated when I play the game in response to their complaints about my addiction. Although I am aware of the negative effects this addiction is having on my social, intellectual, and spiritual lives, I found it impossible to kick the habit. I’ve removed and reinstalled the games several times.

When I married in 2021, the mindset persisted to the extent that I started to have problems with my spouse. I vowed to stop when she protested, but I was unable to. I’ve been hoping and praying that one day I’ll be able to give up this game addiction, and I’m seeking the correct discipline to support me in doing so. I was assigned the lesson “Children and Globalization” to teach at my church’s annual Lutheran Sunday School week in September 2022. During my preparation, I realized that God was using this to assist me in intentionally limiting how much technology I used; in the end, it turns out that I was utilizing the entire circumstance to demonstrate the negative effects of technology. Following the presentation, the Sunday school pupils, teachers, and I decided—after praying about it—to cease the misuse of technology.

How I set purposeful limits to my technology

If I had just kept trying to stop playing computer games, it wouldn’t have worked for me. After attending the aforementioned program, I made the following decision when I got home:

  • I uninstall all game apps on my phone, tablet, and computer.
  • I refuse to keep my phone close to me during my reading times.
  • I bought a small phone that can only pick up calls to replace the Android phone I was using.
  • I only use the Android phone when I need to connect to the internet.
  • I set boundaries on the use of technology, and I asked my wife to supervise me and call my attention when I was crossing the boundaries.

Wisdom of this Purposeful Limit

I no longer have an addiction to video games. In addition, imposing boundaries on technology use enabled me to maintain control over the gadgets in my home. I was ruled by technology up until this point, but now that I’ve learned to live within those boundaries, it has become less important in my life. I now have enough time to follow my aspirations, spend time with my family, and—most importantly—read the Bible, practice meditation, and engage in prayer as a result of these decisions. In the past, I felt more linked to technology; but, these days, I feel more connected to God and his plan for my life. To sustain this achievement, I have implemented Smith’s inquiry, “What do you want?” these days in my life. This is to continually remind me of my life’s mission and the path leading to my destiny. I would like to include a daily routine (timetable) in my list of intentional gadget use limitations. It will, in my opinion, assist me in better organizing my daily schedule and provide me with appropriate control over both technology and pointless diversions.

By

Martin H. Kamaidan


[1] James K.A Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, (Brazos Press, ebook edition 2016), p. 16