Media Mondays, we're talking about social media and our health. Here's the good news: Even though working through this series has made me feel convicted about the amount of time I spend online, I'm not on here so much that I've destroyed my health. This is probably due more to God putting people in my life who warned me about tendonitis, back strain and other disorders caused by too much time at the piano (or the computer, nowadays) than anything I'd done on my own, but I'm very thankful for it.
In terms of health, the internet has actually helped me in some ways. I have been able to research medications prescribed to me and when I worked full-time I was able to use it to research health information I was given about clients at work so that I could make better recommendations for them. If you're trying to lead a more healthy lifestyle, there are all kinds of resources to help one craft an exercise plan or locate nutritious recipes.
The internet has also helped me to tend to my husband's and even my pets' health needs. There are a wealth of veterinary websites available, and when one of my cats struggled with chronic urinary tract infections, I was able to ask more intelligent questions of my vet and take better care of my cat because of information I found on various cat care forums. I've also been able to find good at-home remedies for minor ailments (cold, stomach flu, poison ivy,etc..) to help my husband and me when these issues arise. And that's not even touching all the time I spend doing research at fertility and adoption sites.
I have to be careful not to take things too far, though. When one starts reading on a site such as WebMD, it's easy to read descriptions of horrible diseases and then start thinking, "Hey, I feel tired today, and I'm a little out of sorts and I think I might even be bloated..., " and pretty soon, I can spend the rest of the day half-wondering if I might be at death's door. After all, there's the time I wondered if I had cancer, the time I wondered if I had lupus, the time - you get the idea. Obviously, falling into this trap is not healthy.
After having done this to myself one too many times, I find myself being very deliberate in choosing which sites I will visit. There are some that have helpful information, but I know that I can tend to use them as a time waster. I also know that I need to pray over my use of information that I find so that I don't find myself becoming overly alarmed or worse, so that I don't find myself blindly accepting something that is unbiblical in the guise of it being "medical information." However, as I gain more practice in sifting through information, I also find that God has given me more discernment in analyzing what I read and for that I am thankful.