I understand that 9:00 a.m. isn’t very early. Most of my friends and family are already three or four hours into their days by 9:00 a.m. For a youth pastor, though, 9:00 a.m. is pretty early in the day.
Now I don’t wake up at 9:00 a.m. on my working days. Most of my working days I’m at church until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. so I usually wake up around 7:00 a.m. That’s sleeping in for most people with children or jobs in the marketplace. For me, though, it’s a reasonable time to wake up. It also affords me the opportunity to spend time with God and get to the gym before my day gets going.
At least it does when the Internet doesn’t derail my day at 7:00 a.m.
Unfortunately I have woken up at 7:00 a.m. many mornings with all the best intentions in the world. Intentions that included quiet time devoted to God and an hour devoted to the elliptical. However, the Internet crushed those intentions like an AT-ST on Endor.
I would roll out of bed, grab my phone and immediately begin catching up on what I had missed while slumbering. My Twitter timeline became the first thing I looked at in the morning and it was soon followed up by notifications on Instagram and Facebook. Interesting articles and blog posts also garnered much of my time. I would often finish my Internet binge with a little Candy Crush or early morning Amazon shopping spree.
By the time I finished gorging myself on a breakfast of social media, Wikipedia and Instagram photos filtered with sepia, I had already wasted my morning. All of my good intentions at 7:00 a.m. were swallowed by the Internet and digested by 9:00 a.m.
I hated staring at the clock, realizing that I had wasted two precious hours of my life by reading rumors about Episode 7 and clicking through every X-Men article on Wikipedia.
I hadn’t spent any time with God but I knew that J.J. Abrams took a picture with R2-D2.
I hadn’t gone to the gym but I could tell you Nightcrawler’s origin and the nature of his relationship with Storm.
I was sick of wasting my life away two hours at a time. So at the New Year I decided that I would stop using the Internet before 9:00 a.m. If I wanted to make the most of my morning and do the things I feel called to do during that time, I needed to get rid of my biggest distraction.
No social media.
No tail spinning Wikipedia searches.
No Internet before 9:00 a.m.
I suppose this could be called a New Year’s resolution but in my mind it’s more than that. The Internet isn’t going away and it’s most likely going to play a larger role in all of our lives. I want no Internet before 9:00 a.m. to be a principle by which I live my life. So that no matter how connected my life gets in the coming years, I won’t turn on my heads-up display or start talking to Jarvis until 9:00 a.m.
How do you limit the distraction of the Internet in your life?