Tag Archives: Internet access

Putting irritations into perspective

In one of my classes last night, I wanted to show students several short videos of Christian counselors in action. These students were finishing up their last fieldwork classes and so I thought it would be good to remind them of the kinds of professional identities they are developing.

Unfortunately, our Internet didn’t cooperate. Usually, I have no problems showing streaming video in class. However, we have been experiencing a bandwidth problem of late when all of our classrooms are filled with students getting on the Internet at the same time.

Clearly, an irritation. I could not accomplish what I wanted to. I had good material but at that point in time, I had to punt. My thoughts, at the time, were something like this, “someone needs to fix this problem because I have limited opportunities to do this kind of teaching!” I imagined then that I would write to our administrative folks and complain (nicely!) that we need more bandwidth in order to keep providing a quality education.

Today, however, I have a renewed perspective.

I read of a missionary professor talk about the bandwidth issues in his school. For what would cost about $20 per month (DSL, 512KB) in the U.S., they must pay $880 per month! If they want to double their bandwidth (and they need to due the increase in computer use at the University), they must also double the fee per month!

And this is just the bandwidth problem. I have visited that school and student housing wouldn’t qualify here for a place to keep my lawn mower.

Are there things that irritate you, especially things that are supposed to work well but don’t? Well, it is irritating. And we should work to fix the bugs. However, in the right perspective, I can have a thankful heart for how much I have been given AND a willingness to sacrifice more for those who have even less.

I’m still going to write that letter, but with a vastly different spirit.


Filed under Africa, Biblical Seminary

Depression and your internet usage?

Have you seen news articles suggesting that one might be able to predict depression on the basis of how you use the Internet? If not, read about it here in a very brief essay. Bottom line, the study may find that depressed college students use more P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing than their non-depressed counterparts. The depressed group may also do far more application switching (e.g., check email, look up sports scores, open other apps, etc.) suggesting an appearance of bored surfing for something to stimulate them out of their negative mood.

On the one hand, these possible results make some sense. Depressed people may be looking for stimulus and social connection to raise their mood. They may have less focus on more mindless activity on the net. However, as this essay reminds us, there are a number of problems with the research that show up in many of the “newsy” items that show up on the Internet or on television news.

Despite the caveats we must place on such “news”, it does provide a great opportunity for each of us to evaluate our Internet habits.

What are we doing on-line…really?
What do our habits say about what we are looking for, desiring, etc.?
What are we avoiding while we are on-line?  What are we trying to fill?

I can tell you that my usage, at times, tells me I am not wanting to engage some bit of work that I have on my plate. Far better to check email than to write a difficult section of an upcoming lecture. Far better to read an important blog than to go talk to my kids about something that I’ve been avoiding. Or…so it seems at the moment.

What does your Internet usage tell you about you?


Filed under counseling, counseling science, Depression, Psychology