Yesterday, about mid-day, the internet at our house died for no apparent reason. I was typing along on the internet, working away, when it started to run slower and then eventually disconnected altogether. We happen to be customers of a large, national company that provides phone, internet and cable TV services–on the occasion that company does a tweek here or a service thing there, and the internet has a little hiccup, so at first we just waited for service to come back. As a few minutes stretched into half an hour we knew it was more than a “blip” so we tried resetting the router in the house. That didn’t work so we tried resetting the modem from the company…and that’s when we saw it. The modem was getting a signal but it was not sending one out. Furthermore, when we turned it off to reset it, there had been three lights and now there were only two. Something was definitely wrong! Once we realized something was actually wrong, we decided to call the company for service. After all they can often do a few things over the phone and presto! Well…the phones could dial and we could hear them but they couldn’t hear us. What in the world was going on?
Just so you know, we did finally figure out what happened–we had a huge power surge at the house. We called the company using a cell phone and managed to get through to have them do several diagnostics and walk us through a few things. Apparently the power surge took out a power supply, the company modem and affected our phones. We had to struggle through the night with no internet whatsoever, but in the morning the repairman came to the house to replace the company modem, we installed a new power supply and everything seems just fine. I was tickled to be able to be online today!
Being without the internet, we had to resort to connecting the old-school way: talking. We spent the night talking about ideas, writing articles, discussing concepts, reading the Bible and contemplating what it meant, reading a story that we’re reading together, and even watching a movie with our son. But being without the internet taught me an important lesson. How often do we as lovers and parents sit at our computers at night and play a game or goof around on Facebook, and let hours pass by when we are not really connecting with our spouses or children? Last night we had ALL KINDS of time to be with each other, discuss ourselves and our feelings and our days, spend time with our children and read the Bible. Other nights it seems like we have so little time–yet it’s the same 24 hours that we always have every day. What was the difference? No internet.
So I learned that like quicksand, the internet can suck a person in–even if they are sucked into working on a good cause! Slowly more and more time and attention is spent online: writing, talking, replying, even playing. Is the internet evil? No. But it’s just another way that a couple can be distracted from their obligation to connect to their spouse, to be present for them, or to demonstrate loving actions. Yes the internet can be a tool to connect also but just a word for the wise–is the internet preventing you from spending time with your spouse? Could your marriage be weakened or vulnerable due to the internet? Build a strong, affair-free marriage by not allowing a communication tool to capture your time, energy and thoughts…and offer those instead to the one you love.