My Digital Resolutions for the New Year

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digital resolutionsHappy New Year to all of our friends and family here at CatholicMom.com. These first few days of 2012 find me returning to my desk and computer after a nice long break over the Christmas holiday to savor time with family and friends. The excitement and busyness of the past few years, with the growth of this website, my speaking engagements around the country and the publications of The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms have left me working non-stop. As we led up to Christmas and I felt my stress level rising, I knew that the time had come to build in a bit of down time over the holidays. I want to thank all of you for being patient with this break and being so encouraging of my need to step away from the keyboard to regain some perspective. I hope this was — for you as well — a time of restoration and celebration.

As I prepared to return to work today, I found myself pondering my New Year’s resolutions. I’m a big resolution-maker, so I typically spend the first week of January thinking over and praying about my goals for the coming year. My list is always way too long, and has too many items that have been repeated (and remain unattained) year after year. That being said, I wanted to share with you a subset of my goals for 2012 — my “Digital Resolutions”.

Lisa’s Digital Resolutions for 2012

  • Responsible use of digital technology — update virus protection and child monitoring software, limit “elective” use of technology and establish set work hours
  • Innovative use of digital technology — focus on learning about emerging tools in the new year, both hardware and software, to more effectively perform duties and imagine new possibilities
  • Financially savvy use of digital technology — investigate major acquisitions to avoid “impulse buys”, of big ticket items such as phones and computers but also of “throwaway” expenditures such as iPhone apps — only invest in new resources when they will promote enhanced results
  • Spiritually led use of digital technology — refrain from use of technology on Sundays, leave cell phone at home during Mass, practice “unplugged” prayer and protected time for family priorities, do not allow social networking relationships to hinder “real world” relationships

Since you are reading this blog, perhaps you also spend a great deal of time in the digital realm. And perhaps you too will want to set your own “Digital Resolutions”. I’d love to hear yours, and would also love to hear from our readers who don’t engage in the practice of setting of resolutions but have personal goals for the effective and spiritually encouraging use of technology.

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

7 Comments

  1. Hello!
    Thank you so much Lisa for your wonderful website full of great articles, ideas, and inspiration! Thank you also for being a role model of a Catholic wife and mom. I really like your last resolution that you posted. It’s a good one! I too have had to manage my time online, especially since I homeschool our 5 children. So, I have decided to put down Facebook for a while! This was a shocker to my friends and family, since I mainly communicate with all of them through my FB account. But, it has been great so far!!! Good luck with your resolutions and God bless you and yours as you follow your heart in Christ.

    • Seanda, while I’m not going to take as big a step as you’ve done, I am going to definitely cut back on my time there this year. I actually truly missed the interaction with my Facebook friends while I was gone — I garner so much inspiration and support (and fun!) from them! Kudos to you for having your priorities in the right place!

  2. I love your final resolution! While I don’t find myself constantly attached to technology, I have decided to truly focus on setting Sunday aside for church and family. So far, one Sunday into the new year and it truly felt wonderful to be unplugged and focused on my husband and children. I look forward to the many more Sundays to come!

    • Esther, surprisingly, that will be one of my biggest challenges for this year. Sunday has unfortunately become a “work day” for me as our blog operates 24/7. It will require some advance planning to take the day “off” but I know it’s important. Prayers for you and your family!

  3. Lisa, this is such an important issue! Thanks for posting your invitation to examine our consciences and our behaviors with regards to technology!

    I have an M.Ed. in Educational Media/Instructional Technology, and have worked in educational, commercial, and – now – Catholic television for many years. While most of my professional life has been with electronic media (in one form or another), my approach to “utilizing” it still comes from my perspective as a teacher – a junior high (middle school) teacher at that!

    Marshall McLuhan was one of the best known and often quoted media gurus, when I was getting my Master’s. (Can you guess that I’m an old gal?) I know you know that McLuhan made famous the idea that “the medium is the message.” However, I no longer agree with him – at least, if technology is the main “medium of the message,” especially the Gospel message!

    One of my favorite Scripture passages is ISAIAH 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news!” Wonderful verse! It’s HUMAN feet, which are blessed. And it’s a real-live human being who is conveying the good news – person-to-person!

    This prophetic insight holds true today! Isn’t a real live teacher always more effective than an educational DVD – even if it’s brilliantly and beautifully produced? It goes without writing much more that Moms and Dads are always more effective parents, when they are “up close and personal” with their kids!

    Fr. Robert Barron, the highly gifted creator of the extraordinary new video series, Catholicism, knows this! He knows evangelization is much better and more effective, when a real “live” person shares his educational series in a “live” classroom/parish setting.

    Come to think of it, my daughter and son-in-law gave me Catholicism for Christmas! Maybe I ought to purchase the course materials, and offer to facilitate a discussion group for my local parish??? Up close and personal???

    Hey, thanks for giving me the chance to write and to think about this! Keep up your great work for Our Lord and for us, Lisa!

    And thanks for helping me start my New Year on the right “foot!”

    Blessings,
    Connie Anderson

  4. Connie – thank you for sharing these wonderful comments and inspiration! I agree that Fr. Barron “rocks”! What a wonderful Christmas gift — you should definitely share it with your fellow parishioners.

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