I have been playing around with the idea of a media fast for some time. This morning, our pastor spoke about the state of distraction we often find ourselves in, and how that limits our ability to hear from God. I knew that was my cue to kick this thing off, so I have decided on a 30 day media fast.
I will be fasting from tomorrow, October 7th, until Wednesday, November 6th. I will fast from the following types of media:
-All TV and movies
-All music except Praise and Worship music
-All books except prior commitments that I have made (book clubs, small groups)
-Internet except work-related (lesson planning, grading, etc. I will check my work email throughout the school day, and my personal email once at lunch and once before bedtime.)
-Phone: My commitment here is to not be carrying my phone around 24/7. I will check my phone for messages in the morning, at lunch, and before bed, and otherwise will use it as needed for meaningful/necessary communication.
So why am I doing this? I have some specific goals in mind and some more general ones.
1. To relax and de-stress. I find that constantly staring at a screen (phone, computer, tv) gives me a headache and increases stress levels and distraction. I want to be PRESENT and enjoy life.
2. To hear from God. I want to clearly hear from God about some specific things and I need to be sure that I am listening. I also feel that I will have more TIME to work on that vertical relationship with God if I cut out some distractions.
3. To make time for family, work, and other important commitments. I often complain about my lack of TIME to get things done. I would like to spend more time with my family (and not in front of a screen!), to be able to spend more time on work-related projects if necessary, and to create/maintain meaningful friendships outside of social media.
I expect this to be challenging for me. I think fasting from movies and TV will be more of a minor inconvenience, but I expect the internet (FACEBOOK!) will be the biggest challenge for me. Not only do I enjoy keeping up with everyone, but I have found it increasingly convenient to communicate with friends solely through Facebook even though I see those friends throughout the week at church, work, and other locations. This is definitely a negative for me, as someone who struggles with social anxiety, and I don't want Facebook/social media to allow me to hide behind a screen and not work on maintaining real life relationships in real life settings. So, in addition to staying away from Facebook, I am also challenging myself to be proactive in pursuing face to face interaction with people.
If you want, feel free to leave encouragement as I take this journey, or if you're feeling brave, jump in for yourself! I don't think anyone would get to the end of a journey such as this and feel like it was a waste of time. I am expecting great things! I will try to post a short daily update with something I learned, struggled with, or experienced each day.
I appreciate your support and prayers!