Our Hi-Tech society can order food online, book a hotel, locate pizza delivery drivers and we can buy goods from any location in the world where there’s an internet connection available. Scanning QR codes to view information about a business and their products & services is becoming increasingly popular. Although there are some really great aspects to being connected, not all of us use the internet wisely. In recent times we have witnessed an increase of online criminal activity. Below are a just a few of the ways the internet is often misused. The internet has opened doors to Hackers. These hackers steal information from businesses and from individuals alike. Cyber Bullying has taken bullying to a whole new level outside of the school playground. Trolling has become common place where those who like to cause trouble “sow discord” online, according to Wikipedia. Cyber Stalking on social networks is used to find out another person’s business and then the information is used to harass them. Spending too much time online can also be damaging. According to Dr Caroline Leaf, an overuse of technology can cause mental health problems. In an excerpt from her article, ‘Are you a social media enthusiast or addict? Dr leaf states, “Teens are exposed to an average of eight and a half hours of electronic media per day@ According to the Archives of General Psychiatry, this increased simultaneous exposure to electronic media during the teenage years is associated with an increase in depression and anxiety. In Norway, the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale was developed in response to research showing that addiction to social media causes the same damage in the brain as addiction to alcohol and cocaine. They have even found that itis as addictive as drugs, alcohol and chemical substance abuse. You just have to look around you to see that the great number of people who are glued to their phones instead of making eye contact. This is communication pathology! I am not saying don’t use social media tools – I personally love them and use them to communicate with all of you, and my family and friends. And social media is a science: God made all the sciences. What I am saying is that it’s all about balance. The devil is a master of trying to destroy balance – overuse, incorrect use and obsessions with are all forms of imbalance. We need to be aware of these probabilities he is trying to turn into realities through us. He has no power, he is defeated! All he can do is try and influence our decisions. Being addicted to social media is the result of a decision to not lead a disciplined, Spirit-led life.” If you find yourself unable to control the personal amount of time you spend online, then perhaps it’s time to consider seeking the help of a professional & registered a counsellor. Search for one near you. www.theaca.com.au 24 Hour Emergency Counselling Services Lifeline on 13 11 14 Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 Men’s Line Australia on 1300 789 978 Sources: WikiPedia on QR Codes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_code PERMISSION ATTAINED Dr Caroline Leaf: http://drleaf.com/blog/are-you-a-social-media-enthusiast-or-addict/ Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org Image courtesy of: www.freedigitalphoto.net /Stuart Miles Share this Facebook Twitter Pinterest Where to get help 24/7 Helplines Lifeline: 13 11 14 Kids Helplines: 1800 551 800 Mensline: 1300 789 978 Beyond Blue: 1300 22 46 36 Headspace: 1800 650 890 Talk to your doctor and see a mental health professional. Visit CCAA to search for a Christian counsellor near you.