Our children don’t need to access corrosive material to die spiritually. Neither do they need to fall to the depths of addiction to be on the wrong side of a time management issue and waste away their mortal probation.
Sadly some young men and women in the Church today ignore “things as they really are” and neglect eternal relationships for digital distractions, diversions, and detours that have no lasting value. My heart aches when a young couple—sealed together in the house of the Lord for time and for all eternity by the power of the holy priesthood—experiences marital difficulties because of the addicting effect of excessive video gaming or online socializing. A young man or woman may waste countless hours, postpone or forfeit vocational or academic achievement and ultimately sacrifice cherished human relationships because of mind and spirit-numbing video and online games. As the Lord declared, “Wherefore, I give unto them a commandment: Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known.” Today I raise an apostolic voice of warning about the potentially stifling, suffocating, suppressing, and constraining impact of some kinds of cyberspace interactions and experiences upon our souls. The concerns I raise are not new; they apply equally to other types of media, such as television, movies, and music. But in a cyber world, these challenges are more pervasive and intense. I plead with you to beware of the sense-dulling and spiritually destructive influence of cyberspace technologies that are used to produce high fidelity and that promote degrading and evil purposes. I have raised a voice of warning about only a few of the spiritual hazards in our technologically oriented and rapidly changing world. Let me say again: neither technology nor rapid change in or of itself is good or evil; the real challenge is to understand both within the context of the eternal plan of happiness.17
Ultimately we have to figure out when we cross the line from healthy relaxation and entertainment into wasting our time and squandering productive opportunities.