Due to the high level of innovations, it is easy to admit that we have all found ourselves at one time or another reading online an overwhelming amount of information, good, bad, and terrifying.
At times, we are being thankful for meeting new people and learning new things while at the same time having the feeling that logging off would be of great benefit on numerous levels. It is hard to discern sometimes the benefit of being ever connected when it takes so much work to craft a flow of information that does not rob one’s peace.
For Example, at our home track natural disasters to see what preparations we needed to make and whether we needed to evacuate. In previous years, there was a slow and steady stream of information with storms, but now with more entities vying for the spotlight and everyone seeming to have an opinion about everything, it was easier for panic to creep into our planning process. Here is a list of ways you can try to live your faith in a technologically overloaded world.
1. When Reading Bad or Upsetting News Offer a Sincere Prayer
It is important to cultivate an environment of God’s compassion in our hearts, our homes, and wherever we are, be it terra ferma or the mysterious vast plains of digital existence.
It is easy to give advice to set notifications in a certain way or only visit certain sites for your news. What is harder is not allowing news to infect you and instead actively guiding the effects toward a prayer life. It is sometimes unhappy that we are greatly connected but oftentimes do not use the information we learn to offer up prayers.
The next time you read a tragic story about a natural disaster, stop and ask God to bless those in harm’s way and ask yourself if you can spare a luxury for that day such as takeout for dinner to give to a cause that is helping the victims. I’m not saying do this every single time, as most of us are not endless supplies of funds, but the habit connects you back to humanity and helps to eliminate the tailspin of hopelessness. It is also an Act of Mercy.
2. Write Your Representatives
Like in the case of DACA, there are many thoughtful people with wisdom and insight who their input have been admired. I believe many times these efforts should be heard by the people we have voted to represent us. Prayerfully writing to your representatives about your concerns is a great way to be a part of the community. As there is no authority than what is granted from above, this is a responsibility we should consider often. It is also easier than ever to reach those who make decisions on our behalf at the local, state, and national levels.
3. Livestream Eucharistic Adoration
There is nothing quite like Eucharistic Adoration. It is good to participate in adoration at parishes in communities. It changes life in wonderful ways. Don’t forget to thank Him for your blessings.
4. Be Reverent When You Admonish
The most destructive pattern ever witnessed online is those attempting to correct someone online. We all joke to never read the comments because it can truly be a place of exceptional malice. Maturity requires us to be thoughtful in our admonishments and corrections. If the intent is to sincerely bring truth to a situation there should be great respect for how we present that truth. Be thoughtful with your points. It is much healthier to first ask someone if you can offer your experiences and then request if you can do so away from public viewing. Ask yourself first the reason you want to discuss a contentious issue with the person and always pray before doing so. Most of us would be mortified if someone walked up to us on the street and began to argue with us about a conversation we were having without some social decency first. Be careful of your own ego. It can lead you down the wrong path and destroy charity.
Finally, respect the person where they are in their faith journey. The ultimate goal is salvation for the person and for ourselves, which can take a lifetime. Practice patience.
5. The Golden Rule in Our Actions and Mary in Our Hearts
It is time to dismiss the idea that you can live a dualistic life online and it not catch up with you. I don’t mean anonymity, I mean behaving one way online to blow off steam and another in person. A house divided can not stand. Do not binge on information that troubles your mind and heart if you would not invite it into your living room. Also, practice the golden rule with your interactions. We all know how it feels to be confused, hurt, or angered by something said online. Ask yourself how you would perceive your words coming from someone else. In addition, if you find yourself overwhelmed with negativity turn the Golden Rule around and ask if the internet is treating you kindly. If not, take a break! If your work requires being online and you cannot take a break then practice number 3 on this list. Finally, be mindful of the presence of Mary in your hearts.