I'm going to write this one as I go and publish it at the end of my fast.
This month is media. My plan is no Facebook for three weeks. Also, no gaming or random internet surfing. Basically, I'm trying to redeem the time I spend after diner just vegging in front of the computer.
I started Thursday (making today day 4). I turned off all my notifications that email me saying who posted things on Facebook. At first that helped me not desire to go check out the 'news'. However, today I find myself wondering what is going on in people's lives. I feel a little removed. It's interesting. Also, what am I supposed to do with all my silly and interesting life events and comments swirling in my head if I can't post them?
Week one down. Here is an interesting development. Instead of using my after dinner time for work or family, I've been going to bed earlier. I think my body is trying to tell me that I've overextended and I need some rest.
Week two almost done. My email is boring without Facebook and it is full of junk mail. I try to unsubscribe them but more come.
My life seems to be getting quieter and smaller without Facebook. I don't know all the details of friends' lives who are spread around the country. I don't have the urgency to check on them daily. I like that social media allows me to reconnect with people I care about, but I don't miss the pressure (self-imposed mostly) to not miss an update.
I'm not sure it's quiet enough yet though. I still don't seem to be spending more time with family or getting more chores done. I think it's time to reduce my inputs even more. I read that multi-tasking, especially when related to media, undermines our ability to focus. Also, it can cut creativity and deep thought. Lastly, inputs of new information can be received as more urgent to the brain than other necessary tasks.
I think that relates to me. Sometimes I get obsessed with gathering new information on whatever topic has caught my interest. I'll listen to audio books, watch youtube videos, etc. while doing other tasks. This is not a bad thing in itself, but I think I get overstimulated at times and too driven to find out all I can. So, for now, I'm fasting from multi-tasking. I want to focus on what I'm doing and listen for God's voice in all things.
If only it was that easy. Unfortunately, the first voice I hear is not God's. It is the voice of my own anger, irritation, and selfishness. I find myself getting upset about unimportant things. It's as though my emotions are raw and vulnerable. This is always the first 'benefit' of fasting - it shakes me up and shows me what character defects remain unsanctified within me. I pray for God to continue healing me. I want to be so full of His Spirit that there is no room for my sinful nature.
Today I endeavored to look outward and pay attention to others instead of focusing on my own wants and needs. The ugly voices in my head dispersed and it was a much calmer day.
As the three weeks comes to a close, I think it's time to make some decisions about permanent changes to make. I would like to 'keep the baby, but get rid of the dirty bathwater'. I want to keep in contact with friends and family without surfing mindlessly for hours. I also have become aware of how plugged-in my children are. They need some limits as well. I'm considering making one evening a week a 'no screen night'. Ideally that time would be filled with family time and bonding. I do plan to sometimes listen to my e-books while doing mindless chores, but wouldn't it be even better to include my children and develop more talk time with them?
In general, I think I need to intentionally consider how I can trade good for better and better for best in my life.