Technology in the world is quickly advancing into better, faster means of "connecting" to just about anything you could possible want or need. Though this means greater accessibility for many good things, the opposite is also true. There are many downfalls of excessive or inappropriate use of technology. Know the difference and choose wisely. Randall Ridd, a leader over a worldwide youth organization stated, "Your choices determine whether technology will empower you or enslave you."

The ugly

Don't stumble into the pitfalls of using the Internet and other technology for potentially dangerous actions. Viewing pornography, seeking inappropriate information or using computers or smartphones for debasing or salacious reasons will not benefit you or anyone else in the world. Just because it is readily available does not mean you should view or use it. Negative side effects may not show up immediately or all at once, but they will come. Such uses can lead to bullying, abuse, depression, addiction, self-destructive attitudes or acts, affairs, divorce, financial woes and an overall sense of discordance and unhappiness.

The bad

In moderation, some uses of technology are OK. But, when it becomes excessive or inappropriate in nature, that's when it is a problem. For instance, playing games occasionally is probably all right, as long as the material is appropriate. However, when it consumes your life and you find yourself sitting for hours addicted to "just one more level," that's when you ought to reevaluate your usage.

Another problem is overuse of social media. Hours of fruitless time on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat or other similar sites can be an area of concern. Essentially, you are accomplishing nothing, people are neglected, lessons at school, work or church are ignored and tasks that you ought to be accomplishing are waiting on the sidelines. Also, if social media is being used for bullying or other cruel or improper reasons, it needs to stop. Beware and avoid these and other poor choices that are often made while using social media.

The good

While there is opposition to everything that is good, by focusing on what is good and leaving the bad behind, we can fully utilize and enjoy technological advances. Use of computers and smartphones have helped in numerous ways including email, GPS and online maps, paying bills, online banking and having information at your fingertips with just a few clicks.

Many people are able to complete college via online courses. Education is important for bettering yourself and your livelihood. For some, it may be the only way to complete higher education.

Researching ancestors and keeping records is another wonderful part of technology. Online journals and scrapbooks help document lives of the past and present. You can also find family histories to learn about your relatives and who they were. Social media and Internet phone calls or messaging is a way that helps many families to stay in touch with each other over long distances.

Using technology to spread positive messages to others is another good activity. Blogging, sharing quotes or uplifting videos on social media or using your words of advice and support to inspire and help others is also beneficial and good. Social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest are full of positive or thought provoking quotes or images that can help others. Many bloggers use their voices to inspire mothers, increase faith, give household solutions or share other great ideas with their readers. Find constructive and effective ways to make the world a better place rather than dabbling in the filth that is equally present.

"Owning a smartphone does not make you smart, but using it wisely can... don't do dumb things with your smartphone," Ridd counsels. While there are plenty of terrible or time-wasting things we can use technology for, we need to avoid those while seeking to use the Internet and smartphones for good. The former can enslave and ruin your life, while the latter can empower, enrich and bless your life and the lives of others.

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