Showing posts with label Television. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Television. Show all posts


Step Away from the Screens

Yesterday, I shared one of the biggest lessons Iearned during the month of our media fast. It wasn't sexy, cool, or hip. And it certainly wasn't easy, which is why I suppose it wasn't very popular.

That was just a sliver of what I want to share about my month without media. I've been asked by a few people if my time away was "productive" and what I did with all my extra time. If you missed yesterday's post, though, you're missing the heart of everything I'm about to say.

First of all, you should know this past month was different than I expected it would be.

I didn't read 1,000 books, though I certainly had the time to. Instead, I was stuck on a single book, and became pretty frustrated with reading after about a week. Sometimes, I'm too tired to read (I'll fall asleep after a page or two), so this was pretty demotivating for me as I was deciding what to do with my time. In retrospect, I should have been reading more than one book at a time, but it's not something I typically do, so it didn't happen.

I also didn't completely avoid the internet or TV. Our living situation didn't lend itself to a total, 100% fast from media like I desired. Instead of moving into our own house at the beginning of the fast, like we expected to, we are still not moved in at this point. Everything which could have gone wrong with our move has. Things are finally starting to move along (pun most definitely intended), but we currently are still waiting for our house to be livable.

So, since we weren't living in our own place, able to control whether or not media was playing through the TV, we still watched some TV and movies with friends and family. We never watched alone, because we knew we had control over at least that much. But after about a day or two of pretending I wasn't watching Dora with my 2 year old nephew, I gave in.

We decided we couldn't control our family and force them not to watch TV and suffer with us. This doesn't mean we would “suggest” what our family watched, either. We let them watch whatever they decided to watch, without our suggestions or influence.

So, no, I didn't watch any basketball during the fast - turns out I'm the only one who enjoys it in a house full of females (shocker!). Instead, if I watched TV, it was along the lines of Dora, Go Diego Go, Glee, or Private Practice (my family’s shows of choice, in case there was any doubt).

Also, we checked our e-mails frequently (which we had planned on doing), and I used the internet to play games while I took medicine. I had always played games while taking my medicine before this fast started, and I needed some kind of motivation to continue spending 30 minutes twice a day inhaling a medicine which tastes like soap. Trust me, you’d need the motivation, too.

I did start writing a book. But before you get your hopes up, allow me to shoot them down. Because I did also decide to stop working on it during this month as well. I put a lot of time and thought into this project, and decided this isn’t the right place or time. For starters, I expected to be spending most of this month alone in my new house, with very little to do and lots of space to think and write.

Instead, what I was given was a 4 bedroom house with 7 people living in it. This has its upsides and its downsides, and one of the big downsides is a lack of space. This means there was very little down time to think and write during our past month.

Now this sounds like an excuse, and really, it is. But I think God had us living with my family for this time not so I could push them away, but so I could more fully invest in them. I suspect this will be one of the last times we ever live with them (unless they move in with us one day), so I didn’t want to remember it as a time where I was constantly trying to get away and make my own space where there was none.

In addition to the issue of space, I have my own more personal reasons for quickly discontinuing the writing of a book. I’ll share those with you in a future post, because I think they merit their own time and thought. Suffice it to say I didn’t come to this decision easily. If you’d like to know more about what I was writing about, feel free to ask – I’d love to share, anyway!

By the end of this fast, I expected to be dying to regain internet access. Turns out reentering cyberspace after a month of absence is a little stressful – at least it was for me. Think of it like this: you’ve had your license to drive for a few years, and suddenly, it’s revoked for 5 years. Then, one day, you get it back and are asked to drive the Autobahn. You’d be a little stressed too. (Okay, so the analogy isn’t perfect. Work with me here, people.)

So forgive me if I haven’t been as interactive as I usually am. I wiped my Google Reader clean of quite a few blogs – this doesn’t say so much about those blogs as it does about me. I was simply overwhelmed by how much I “needed” to read and I realized I didn’t enjoy it much anymore.

I also haven’t turned Twitter back on my phone, so I haven’t been replying or retweeting many people. I’m sure I will soon, but I’ll most likely cut down the number of people I receive tweets to my phone from as well. Prior to our month of fasting from media, I discovered my little “dumb” phone (aka, non-smartphone) gets upwards of 10,000 texts per month! This. Is. A. Problem. So forgive me if I don’t reply or retweet you as often as I usually do. I promise I’m still here and I’m still reading your awesomeness. It's just that I can only handle so much awesome at once.

Consider escaping from the internet
for even an hour today!
Moving forward, I want to be intentional about spending less time with my laptop and TV, and more time with the people sitting around me. I can’t emphasize this enough. We’re addicted to our screens and ignoring what really matters, people. And we wonder why this world is so messed up.

Let go of your pride, stop saying, “Not me!” and ‘fess up. And then do something about it. It doesn’t mean that you have to fast from seven types of media for a month. But maybe that is what you need.

Whatever you do, though, don’t walk away from this post without doing something. Even simply acknowledging your addiction to the internet or television to yourself is better than nothing.

From here, move forward, deciding to intentionally spend less time with yourself and your computer or TV, and more time with people. You’ll be less lonely, you’ll probably sleep better at night (studies have shown that over-exposure to screens that lead to varying degrees of insomnia), and the quality of your relationships will increase dramatically.

Meanwhile, your Klout score or your Alexa ranking might suffer, but really, who cares? Does it really matter how many pageviews your blog had last month? Will it really matter if people on the internet forget you exist for a week or two? Are you really so important that we shouldn’t forget about you from time to time? In the grand scheme of things, will it matter whether you had 1-2% less followers?

Because that’s the only difference I’ve seen in my blog after I’ve been gone for a month. And frankly, I don’t think God is going to judge me based on my sphere of influence. I don’t think I’ll be chided for having 1-2% less influence than I could’ve had. If my focus is on the people who are around me on a daily basis, I can’t go wrong.

Step away from the screens, people. It's time to wane ourselves off of cyberspace and reality shows. It's time to realize there's a real world around us with real people who have real problems. And as it turns out, they could really use our help. If only we weren't glued to our precious screens, we could look up and see what's really going on around us and start truly living real life.

... ... ...

Questions: Have you ever considered whether you're addicted to screens? What good can come from the internet or television? What bad can come from the internet or television? How have you worked to wane yourself off of depending on screens? What other thoughts do you have on this topic?

Did you enjoy this post? If so, I'd appreciate you subscribing to Life Before the Bucket and sharing it with your friends. Thanks a million for reading!

image credit - michaelaw -


Bigger is Better, Especially if it's Free

The last few mornings, I've really enjoyed listening to the birds outside. Man, I'm getting old real fast.

Americans are funny people. I mean, not to say that people from other countries aren't funny - because they definitely are (and maybe I'll share some stories about this in the future) - but Americans are just especially peculiar. We like things the way they are, and if someone tries to fix things, change things, or even suggest that we might be wrong in the way we do something, we throw a fit, call a lawyer, or vote someone out of office. I happen to be one of those funny Americans...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...