“Do you have a MSN account? We can communicate via MSN!? haven seen that guy online for a while! How is he?? Elders must have a big question mark in their minds when hearing those conversations. What is that? Thanks to science and
“Do you have a MSN account? We can communicate via MSN!” “I haven’t seen that guy online for a while! How is he?” Elders must have a big question mark in their minds when hearing those conversations. What is that? Thanks to science and technology, people can communicate with each other in the virtual world as long as they know how to use a computer and the Internet. Old friends and new friends can all become closer through a personal computer (PC) and a wire without the limits of time or distance. The most important thing is that this saves on expensive telephone bills.
I was a member of that group once. It seemed like I was online 24 hours a day, using my PC from morning to night. Of course, I did not have a big career, nor was I a researcher. I was only a new graduate from college. In addition to making friends on internet, I also wandered in the virtual world with my PC skills. It was there that I found a sense of approval and accomplishment. I was addicted to that kind of environment.
After a while, I realized my body and mind were deteriorating. I became impatient, unable to bear pressure, short-tempered, silent, evasive, even my health started declining. I could not catch my breath when climbing stairs. So, I started thinking: is this the life I want? Will my life pass away in the noise of the PC fan? How did I grow so far away from true self? I don’t want this kind of vain and empty life. How can I make my life more dynamic and colorful?
Of course, that kind of wish cannot be realized in a short time. I am changing my life step by step. First, I participate in the group practice at the Dharma Realm Buddhist Books Distribution Society every week. I read the Venerable Master’s books at home too. But I found that I could not focus on the books and my false thoughts were everywhere. I was confused. So, I decided to turn off the TV and leave that kind of life. I am living a much better life without a remote control and the dreads of society. Then, I slowly discovered life on the internet was tedious and a waste of time. Thus, I choose to leave it as well and face the thoughts in my mind.
Of course, tests have come one after another. Friends were concerned about me. What happened to me? How come I suddenly disappeared from the internet? Sometimes I feel I lack goals for my life … however, I am willing to learn and listen to my own thoughts, instead of avoiding problems by going on the internet.
Researchers have now found that people who spend a lot of time on the internet cannot focus, have trouble expressing themselves verbally, are very self-centered, and their lives are stuck. Fortunately, I met a good teacher who pulled me out from the plausible yet not true environment which is not what it seems to be. Now, I am willing to believe the Venerable Master’s teachings on Buddhism, because that is the true path for life and I can walk down that path fearlessly.
My life does not have TV and the PC is fading away too. But, life does not lose its vibrancy because of that. Even though Internet technology satisfied my thirst for information, or enabled me to avoid my parents’ and teachers’ concerns about me, I have to face myself honestly. Maybe, living in this age, I do not have the opportunity to escape the PC entirely. I try to give myself a simple environment. I can pick up a book or an article and read freely and happily and not be limited to just the PC. Going along with the crowd may not be the best choice. Instead, by wandering on small trails in the mountains without the trace of other humans, I may have the pleasant surprise of discovering “another village with willows and flowers”. I very much want to be a person who has escaped from the computer age.