It may seem kind of ironic of me to be asking random strangers on the internet for advice on the following question, but here goes…
I’m addicted, you could say, to the internet but NOT for anything having to do with impurity or pornography. Rather, I’m hooked on certain news and political discussion sites, mainly of a conservative or right leaning nature (e.g. Twitchy, Instapundit, Hot Air) as well as several Catholic oriented blogs. I visit about half a dozen of these sites on a daily basis (not Catholic Answers, however, I haven’t been here in a while!) and if there is a really interesting discussion going on, I can stay up late into the night posting comments back and forth.
I worry at times that these are becoming an occasion of sin to me for the following reasons:
I spend time surfing and commenting on the blogs that I could be using doing something more useful, like cleaning house, reading a good book, praying, exercising, sleeping, doing something productive with my husband or daughter, etc.
Some of the blog posts/discussions leave me in a state of anger, envy or despair that spills over to my “outside” life. I distinctly remember that after the 2012 elections, there were a lot of commenters ranting about how this was The End of America (And Possibly the World) As We Know It, and for the first time, I had to stop reading these blogs completely because they were making me angry and upset at everything, and was about to drive me barking mad. These were mainly conservative blogs that were upsetting me, but reading liberal/left leaning blogs (e.g. Think Progress, Daily Kos) makes me even MORE angry, disgusted and upset so I avoid them as much as possible.
Of late I find that certain discussions of racial issues, feminist issues and issues surrounding Islamist terrorism are prompting me to think much less charitably of certain groups of people, to be more anxious and distressed about the future of the Church, and to be fearful of doing some things that I have long wanted to do (e.g., visiting museums and tourist sites in major cities where riots, demonstrations, etc. have occurred). I know we have an obligation to be informed of what is going on in the world, but I guess I need to know when to quit.
So my basic question is: when does “addiction” to internet discussion of news and current events become an occasion of sin, and have any of you struggled with it?