Young adults throughout the Church responded to Elder David A. Bednar’s fireside address “Things as They Really Are,” which he gave in May 2009 (see page 16 in this issue), by evaluating their use of computers, cell phones, and other technologies. Here, a few of them talk about the changes they made in response to the message and the blessings they received as a result.
The Need for Focus
Some technologies, like portable music players, can keep you from focusing on what’s going on around you. Elder Bednar’s talk helped me realize that as I prepare to serve a mission, I need to become more accustomed to interacting with other people. I know that I need to be less dependent on technology, even though it’s fun. As a missionary I will need to focus on other people and the work I’ll be doing for the Lord.
Andrew Hovey, Massachusetts, USA
Elder Bednar’s message is one that is sometimes treated lightly or even ignored because the negative effects of technology misuse might seem trivial. Now I realize that I should avoid anything that distracts me from being in tune with the Spirit. For example, some of the functions that my cell phone offers, such as mobile banking services, are handy and convenient. However, other functions are mostly time-consuming and can take my attention and focus from things that matter more.
I am now making more efforts to pay personal visits to my friends and family rather than using other electronic communication. Because of this, my relationships have been strengthened. Now I have an even greater appreciation for the things that are truly important in my life.
Jayoung Lee, Seoul, Korea
A Commitment to Myself
I evaluated my use of technology and realized that perhaps some technology has become too much a part of my daily life. I made a commitment to myself to value the time I have and to use it wisely. Instead of sitting at the computer and engaging in social networks, I’d rather spend my time reading a good book or learning a new skill that will provide learning experiences and promote growth. I try to spend more time with people to build friendships and share good laughs.
Ruth Barilea, Manila, Philippines
I own a cell phone business and am an electronic engineer, so technology has always been part of my daily life. The Internet, video games, electronic media and devices—all are supposed to provide healthy entertainment. However, most of them can easily be used in unrighteous ways.
I can’t imagine how our Heavenly Father feels when we fall into technology traps and waste our time with things that do not edify. Because of Elder Bednar’s inspired words, I have made a goal to always use technology appropriately and spend my time wisely.
Christian Alejandro Zerlin, Managua, Nicaragua