My Thoughts on Taking a Break From Media

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Oh, those smart people who take a break from Facebook. Or Pinterest. Or anything else, ONE THING AT A TIME!!!

But taking a break from Facebook, Pinterest, blog-reading, and TV all at the same time, has been quite the…..let’s go with “adventure”. If I read fiction, I think I could survive just fine, but I don’t do that either, because it always results in staying up until 2 am to finish the book, and then I’m super-crabby the next day.

So basically, I’ve cut out all forms of mindless entertainment, and let me tell you, there are times when I really, really want to do something mindless. I can only be productive for so and so long before I just want to do something fun.

For the first time in my life, I feel completely bored, and desperately want to get out of the house. I need a change of scenery, I need a new hobby, I need hockey season to be over so that Ben can stay at home and entertain me. I guess we’ll play games. And do puzzles. Or something.

I feel ashamed to admit how hard this has been for me, and I feel even more ashamed to admit that last night, I sat on the couch and bawled to Ben about this gaping void in my life that needs to be filled.

The funny thing is that as long as I kept myself busy with social media or TV, I never even noticed any void. Facebook and blogs made me feel as though I was getting social interaction more often than I really was, and TV gave me something fun to do when Ben was out playing hockey. I kind of wanted him to go play hockey every once in a while, just so I could watch an episode of Downton Abbey. How sad to think these things convinced me that I had a “life”.

Last night, Ben tried to comfort me. “Sometimes God removes things from our life so that He can give them back to us in a more purified form,” he said. I believe this to be true, but in this case, having gone without these “fillers” in my life for three weeks now, I don’t actually desire to refill my life with them.

I will go back on Facebook, because I miss seeing the new babies, and the vacation photos, and the list of art supplies everyone was supposed to bring to class today (oops!). I will reconnect in this way, but very cautiously.

I will go back to reading blogs, because that is also part of the world that I choose to live in. I read and learn and grow from other people’s thoughts and information, and then in turn, I put out my own thoughts.

But while I plan to re-enter that world, I do not want to use any of it to fill this void I’ve become so aware of. It has become very clear to me that God has emptied my life for this season so that I will seek how He wants to fill it.

A number of people who heard about my media fast have said, “Oh, that sounds like something I should do!”

And by all means, if anyone feels called to do it, please act on that urge.

But know this: Media lies to us. That sounds overly dramatic, but it’s the hardest truth I’ve come across in the last few weeks.

Media tells us we are more connected with people than we really are.

It tells us we have important things to do with our free time, or perhaps that we don’t have any free time.

Media will convince us that it’s the best thing to turn to when we are lonely, bored, sick, tired, or unfulfilled. It will help us to forget our problems, and can make escaping look very, very appealing.

This probably makes it sound as though I think media is evil, and I really don’t. Like pretty much everything else in life, balance is very, very important. Media can be used as a wonderful tool. But it’s a powerful tool, and must be handled with care.

So I wanted to seek balance, and I desired to face myself without any pull to easy distractions, but I got a lot more than I bargained for. And I’m only halfway done!

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts: Have you ever done a media fast? What did you learn? Would you ever consider fasting from it? Why?