Cut It Off: Gadgets


Gadgets.I like them. I have many gadgets in my kitchen. They help me prepare food faster. They help me prepare a wider variety of food, as well. They are tools that I appreciate having.

But sometimes, gadgets can be addicting. A lot of us reason out a good logical reason as to why we should purchase an item. We pray over it, we feel it won’t conflict with anything, and we find many blessings to be had by purchasing it. However, sometime later, we find out the blessings also have curses attached to them.

For Mother’s Day a few years ago, my husband bought me one of the first Kindle e-readers. He was hoping it would reduce the amount of books in our home by having an e-reader. That didn’t exactly work that way, however I did slow down on my purchases of real books. The next year, he got me a Nook Color so I could get picture books for the kids. It also came with some nook apps (specially designed apps for the nook, but they weren’t android or apple based apps and were very limited.) I found my kids liked games more than reading books on the Nook Color. A few years later, as my Nook Color is getting phased out, we find a great deal on a Nook Tablet that is android based, which would now open up more App possibilities for our family. (We still hadn’t stepped into the smart phones, yet). We heard great things about different learning Apps and felt that technology was growing and we should follow it as well, to keep our kids and us up to date. We were going to use it responsibly, though. (Always good intentions).

However, as we dug into this new technology… we found ourselves looking for the newest Apps. We were searching often to see what we might be missing. Someone mentioned something and we downloaded that App to our tablet. Pretty soon our tablet was full of Apps and we were spending a lot of time just trying to keep everyone off the tablet as we found learning games can be really fun! We were consumed, the kids were consumed, and every free moment, someone wanted to grab the tablet. It no longer was a helpful gadget, it was an addictive one.

My husband saw the over-consumption, however he didn’t want to take it away, after all, everyone uses it and the kids weren’t doing “bad things” or making poor choices, not really. I saw it, and as I tried to limit it… you know, “20 minutes and then you get off,” didn’t often work well, because they would hand it to the next sibling and then watch them play for their 20 minutes.

I began to pray for an answer, but I honestly felt overwhelmed with the choice I had. One choice was to go through all the Apps and delete the ones that were duplicates and simply reduce the amount of items on it, to reduce the draw, but still make it functional. The time to do this was simply exhausting for me to even think about, so I delayed, even though I still prayed for help. Well, one day we went on a day trip. On the car ride, my kids would take the tablets and play a game or read a book… My four year old happened to have the tablet last. For some reason, we didn’t use the tablet for the next week. When I finally went to retrieve it, I found that it was wiped clean. The SD card was taken out and it was completely reset. We don’t know where the SD card went; it wasn’t in the car, so that possibly had been taken out prior to that, without erasing things. However, my four year old is pretty good at getting into menus that she shouldn’t get into… and her big sister let her onto my user page (the administrative page) instead of to her own page. That choice allowed my four year old the ability to get into the settings and reset the tablet, at least that’s what we think happened.

So here I sat, with the tablet… like brand new, with nothing on it. I knew the Apps that I wanted to have, that were really helpful for homeschooling and for personal growth. I was able to download the less than 20 Apps very quickly and reload the books via a Kindle App and less than a half hour later, our tablet was no longer addictive, but again back to being useful. What I couldn’t do for myself or for my family, God provided a way for an unexpected loss to be a great blessing to our entire family.

In keeping with the theme this month, when you can’t “cut it off”, ask God to move mountains for you (the mountains in your life). He will do it, if you have even a little faith.

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

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