This is gonna be short. Media week can be summarized in two simple words:
I tried. Or I wanted to try. And I did try. And fail. Over and over and over. It was hard.
Here’s what I
- Remove Facebook app from phone
- Remove Safari app from phone
- Hide games on phone and only play while sitting on the pot. (See: Lent 2012)
- Don’t look at phone while in the car.
- Use phone only for calls, texts, and calendar. Check email only on computer.
- Check Facebook once a day on the computer.
- No television during the week and in moderation on the weekends.
All of the above? Cheated. Multiple times. Then I’d start over, claiming the day as a fresh start. And eventually I’d cheat again. Big fat cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eater.
Obviously, my phone is my downfall. My Achilles heel. The source of my constant distraction, inattention, and mental clutter. I knew that going into the media fast, which is why I focused my boundaries primarily on my phone. Television wasn’t a big deal because we hardly watch during the week anyway. Seriously, who has the time? But the phone? Mercy.
I didn’t realize what a default it has become. If my mind, hands, or car are idle, my autonomic reflex is to pick up my phone and do…something. Anything. Check my email, check Facebook, play a word, play Solitaire, check the forecast, send a useless text. Whatever. I have crowded out any mental space for just being. I don’t allow myself to be quiet and listen, to think, to utter those sacred breath prayers: Help. Thanks. Wow.
I need a do-over. I need another week or month or year to get this right. Also, a little bit of self-discipline. That would be helpful.
We attempted to limit our kids’ media intake as well. Again, epic fail. Meghan and Griffin have iPhones, and they fall into the same default trap we do. It’s difficult and slightly ineffective to tell your kid to put her phone away while checking your Facebook on your own phone. But we tried. And failed. We had great intentions of family game nights and walks. Failed at that, too.
So we’ll claim grace and start over. Again. And again, and again, and again. At least now we’re aware. That counts, right?
Since this was a depressing failure of a post on a depressing failure of a fast, I’ll leave you with some inspiring thoughts from our dear Jen Hatmaker:
I don’t want to be a slave to media any more than I want to be a slave to the dollar. The first time Paul mentioned permissibility to the Corinthians, he wrote: “I will not be brought under the control of anything.” (I Cor. 6:12b). It will take conscious work to resist the control of the media…But I think if we shut down some of the noise and static, we might find more God, more neighborly love, more family, more life. May we be only under the control of Jesus who fills our minds with hope and truth and grace unending.
Next up: Waste. I’m so all over that. We’re gonna rock this one. Hopefully I can make up for the last two weeks. Boo-yah.
What about you? What is your relationship with media? If you are part of the 7 Experiment, what’s your take-away?