What are your time sinks?


Eph 5:15-16 Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

 In the world of computer and online gaming, the concept of  Time Sinks  is very important in maintaining gamer following and popularity.

Time sinks are activities in a game that take up a long time, like mining minerals, exploring the game worlds to find treasures and other items of value.
Why is this important to game developers? Simple. The more time people spend in a game, the more likely they will like the game and buy add on packs, future versions etc.
Time sinks are important to advertisers too. The longer a gamer is immersed in the game, the more effective the in-game’s active and passive advertising can be.
In the world of online gaming, time sinks are especially important, because the longer a gamer wants to play, the more he has to pay for subscriptions. Again, the more effective the time sink, the more profitable the developer or advertiser will be.

Facebook is an excellent example of this. I don’t play online games, and when i log into Facebook, I find myself spending no more than maybe 30 minutes at a time. I wondered what is it makes people stay on facebook for so long? Then I realized.
It is full of time sinks. People spend hours and hours on facebook not because they are busy ‘connecting’ with people, but because they are busy playing games and browsing photos and videos. Have you ever wondered why games like Farmville and Mafia Wars are so popular? When you look at the game itself, there is nothing great about the game plot or its graphics. But they are great time sinks. They give people lots of ‘stuff to do’. The longer people stay logged into facebook, the more ‘exposure’ they get to advertisers.

Time sinks also come in even more subtle forms, it could be reading your tweet stream, it could be Instagram-ing, it could be Zombie Cafe-ing, Angry Bird-ing,… you get the idea.

Unfortunately, we are seeing the downside of time sinks in the lives of many, especially young people. People have no time for family, no time for studies, no time for ‘real’ social interaction. What’s worse, not only do not have time in other things, the also lose interest in them. Their waking and sleeping thoughts are those time sinks.

Our spiritual lives can also be affected by these time sinks too. The more we neglect bible reading, study and prayer, the more we lose interest. Yes, we recognize the value and importance of it, but in our daily life, they are neglected. The Lord Jesus ceases to be our waking and sleeping thought, His Word gets relegated to being part of the ‘standard accessory’ to bring to church on Sunday.

To make things worse, the nature of time sinks is that it draws us into a, well, sink. In that sink, the outside world is cut off. The more we stay in that sink, they more we get used to it. This is not the desire of the Holy Spirit who indwells us. He wants build in us a passion for caring for others, loving our neighbours, sharing the gospel with other, but He can’t achieve this if we keep staying in our ‘sinks’.

Could our lifestyles be the reason why we have no desire for souls? No wonder the gospel meetings are empty.

1 Cor 6:12 “All things are lawful for me” – but not everything is beneficial. “All things are lawful for me” – but I will not be controlled by anything.

Even as I write this, I have identified a number of time sinks in my life. What are the time sinks in your life? Let’s forsake these and redeem the precious little time we have.


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