What Do We Do about YouTube Addiction?

What if our computer screens and our phone screens and Netflix and YouTube have, like so many famous original music CD’s, had curses placed on them? What if social media was deliberately designed to be addictive and to hold us captive as much time as possible every time we log in?

What then? Do we just throw it all out? Are we even capable?

In dealing seriously with any matter, I’m always thinking about what the problems are, what the deceptions are, and what the solutions are. The idea of dodging purposeful addictive programming, as well as curses over and attacks on our social media platforms, is a tricky one that kind of reminds me of an eating disorder such as bulimia or compulsive overeating. With an eating disorder, you can’t just not eat (yes, a double negative). You have to eat as a lifestyle, and yet there’s the addiction to eating. You can’t abstain and still survive as a human being.

With an eating disorder what we can do is embrace cleaner foods. Once the body has been rehabbed, we might still binge, but the effects, including the dangers, are likely to be greatly reduced. The thing is, though, that changing our eating habits is a start, but it doesn’t change the deep-rooted causes. It doesn’t change us at a spiritual level.

Just like every time I go to delete YouTube from my life. I get rid of it, but then within a day find myself back and just as deeply entrenched. I’m really careful and focused with what I watch. Still, I find myself going down rabbit holes and clawing my way out, only to find myself exhausted and demotivated, with great difficulty in accomplishing what I need to do in my non-internet world.

Internet addiction can’t be God’s will for us. Yet, there are so many amazing You Tubers who educate us on issues of God, His Word, Jesus, spiritual warfare and issues of deception and truth.

What am I missing here? What am I not seeing? Is my addiction to YouTube blinding me, as addictions, I guess, always do? — which would make that a rhetorical question.

Fact: I’m addicted to YouTube. I’m not alone.

4 Premises:

  1. Addiction presupposes self-deception, namely, lies we tell ourselves.
  2. Addictions by their very natures are thieves. They rob us of time, resources, energy, productivity. They take away and suppress our love and our capacities.
  3. Addictions are a weapon of the enemy, used to distract, discourage, divide and destroy us.
  4. If addictions are not faced, they continue to destroy.

Here’s the difference, however, between YouTube and an eating disorder. We don’t need it to survive. We don’t need it for energy or sustenance. We didn’t need it in the 60’s or the 70’s or the 80’s or the 90’s.

So what’s to be done? Do we pray over our addiction to YouTube or any other social media? Do we pray before we start watching or taping a video — as well as when we complete watching or taping one? What do we do about this mode of communication, as well as any other, that has been actually developed with viewer addiction as part of its programming: as part of the reason it was created?

Do we work around it and pray through it?

Or do we let it go?

Matthew 5:29 loosely tells us that if our right eye causes us to sin, we should take it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one part of our body than for our entire being to be damned.

Do we treat YouTube addiction or any other social media addiction as a danger to our souls? Should we react to it as we would react to any other addiction we want to overcome? If we are blind to truth in this area, are the dangers hidden from us due to subtle deceptions we buy into, despite the costs to our walk with God?

Does truth in this area elude us? Have we trapped ourselves in our own logical reasoning?

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen.

Romans 1:25 (NIV 1984)

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

2 comments

  1. Thank you for your honesty regarding your struggles with this issue. I believe it is a very important and mostly ignored issue. Social media/cell phone addiction, I suspect, has become prevalent not just in the world, but in the church. Wherever you go, people have their faces turned towards their phone even when they are with other people. We react to the sound of a notification much like Pavlov’s dogs, immediately reaching for the phone. I have been aware of my own tendencies in this area and how the continually scrolling and swiping decreases my ability to concentrate and dulls my spiritual senses. It’s something that must be confronted and taken seriously by those who want to walk with God. God help us.

    Like

    • I love it when you write, it’s like poetry, especially when you refer to God. Yes, decreases ability to concentrate and dulls spiritual senses. I find that it’s hard to pull away from, as though it were physically holding me down. Hours later, I find my soul depleted and my brain mushy. I get a feeling that the media and the electronics are sucking something out of us each time. This is an area that very much merits continuing processing and exploration. Having written this post and read your comments, I am feeling more empowered, more resourceful and less helpless and intimidated by the matter. Thank you. — Julie

      Liked by 1 person

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