Knowledge does not enter the mind without some result being derived from it. It either elevates the soul to God, or it kindles a fatal flame in which eventually the soul shall most probably perish.
Do you wish to know what good or evil has been effected in you by all those hours spent [on Facebook, on the Internet, watching T.V., etc.]? if so, ask yourself this question:
Am I wiser, better, or happier after all this reading and watching?
Wiser? That is to say, more master over myself, less the slave of my passions, not so easily carried away by slight contradictions, stronger to bear misfortune, more attentive in preparing myself for a happy eternity?
Better? That is to say, more kind to others, more forgiving; though quick in discovering faults, yet more guarded in making them known; more anxious that those around me should be happy?
Happier? That is to say, satisfied with my position; seeking to extract from it all the profit possible, and to embellish rather than change it; trusting more in God, and calmer in meeting the events of life?
Examine your heart impartially
If you cannot reply in the affirmative, examine your heart impartially, and you will find the three tyrants: Pride, Ambition, and Selfishness, all stifling the natural goodness which God placed there.
God knows best. Is “thy will be done” applied in every area of our lives?
(Some hidden reasons for consuming an excess of worldly information, gossip and entertainment)
Contempt for your surroundings, disgust with your state of life, a desire for change, the fixed thought of enriching yourself in order to domineer over others, malice, constant discontent, almost incessant murmuring: – all result from them.
Ah! if it is thus with you, whatever your age is, [switch off your computer/mobile device] at once and resume the two first elements of happiness: prayer and your daily duties, done thoroughly and with love. You should never have abandoned them. Had you known how to make them the companions of your [reading, watching and research], they would have preserved you simple and good.
– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889 [brackets substituted]