Social-networking addict finds God after unplugging her life from internet


Esther Emery used to live almost literally in cyberspace where she is connected to the internet 24/7, even waking up in the middle of the night to reach for a screen, which served as her "security blanket."

But the time came when the mother of three and self-described social-networking addict felt that something was wrong in her life. This was when her marriage and job as a theatre director and stage manager in Boston, Massachusetts started falling apart.

In search of peace of mind, she decided to make a drastic change: She moved her family to rural Idaho in 2009 and unplug herself from the internet, giving up her cell phone as well. She then found the missing element in her life: God.

"My experience of the year without internet is that the hardest, truest things all came out of that empty space and those silences," she told Religion News Service (RNS).

"I realized more and more through my year without internet that for me an experience of true silence and experience of God are almost synonymous," she said. "It was almost like I didn't have to pray, I just had to be quiet, and that became a very natural form of connection to what matters and to this whole element of God's presence in the world."

Emery recalls how she reconnected with her faith in a book called, "What Falls from the Sky."

"If you're feeling heartsick, if you're feeling worn, feeling hopeless, if you're feeling like nothing makes sense anymore or if you feel like you are running just as fast as you can from something you are afraid to name, then this story is for you. Believe with me that healing is possible," she says in a YouTube video.

"Hope is possible. You can bring yourself to a quiet and in that quiet you will find a well that never runs dry—the hope of salvation, the hope of healing in the radical simplicity of looking up," she says.

Before she reconnected with God, Emery admitted that she couldn't get enough of everything online.

In an interview with Boise State Radio she said, "I was turning to my screens 24 hours a day and even at any moment I would wake up during the night I would reach for a screen almost as a security blanket to make sure I had some kind of connection with the outside world."