Continuing along the Seven journey, January was month 4. Our fast of choice: Media. That meant four weeks with no form of social media, no TV, no movies, no internet browsing, no blog-reading, no iPhone apps, nothing media unless it’s work-related.
Before we get too deep here, there are a few things you need to know about me.
- I LOVE social media. Love it. Honestly, it’s not even in the ways most people my age love it. Coming from a communication background, I basically think twitter and blogs are the most brilliant inventions of all time. Everyone has a voice! Everyone can share their resources!
- According to the Strengthsfinder test, my #3 strength is Input. Translation: I thrive taking in information. Research projects were always life-giving growing up, and I want to read any semi-interesting article I can come across.
- I am a self-proclaimed news junkie. I think it is important to know what is happening in the world, and I enjoy reading about the big events.
- Watching movies or a well-worn DVD series (read: Gilmore Girls and/or Downton Abbey) is one of my favorite escapes.
- I follow really great instagrammers. Some of them I know in real life, some I wish I knew in real life. Regardless, they’re brilliant, and my instagram feed is really pretty.
- Pinterest. The end.
What’s even crazier about the above list is, until three weeks ago, I lived in a house with no internet, 2 bars of 4G at best, no TV, and the closest wifi 15 minutes from home.
And I still was addicted.
My phone is always within arms’ reach. Heaven forbid I ever miss a tweet. Certainly, if there’s some big breaking news event, I better hear about it before everyone else has. After all, I’m the news junkie, remember? If someone calls, I might screen it (don’t ever seem too available, right?), but of course I need to know about it immediately. We would watch a movie in our house of 5 girls, and everyone would be simultaneously checking their twitter feed.
Waking up in the morning equals “check that email and twitter feed ASAP!” Yet I wonder why I get behind in my Bible reading plan.
Media is not sin.
In fact, the very word media is telling. Facebook is a medium used for communication and connecting with people, which was actually genius. ((Plus the movie won some Academy Awards))
Addiction is sin.
It kind of snuck up on me. This I-always-have-to-check thing. It seemed normal. Everyone else does it, so it’s fine. But why was I feeling so stressed out all the time? Why did I never have enough time? I’m single and only taking care of myself, after all.
I also learned that media can be a coping mechanism for me. When I moved to Dallas a few weeks ago, it was a big change for this I-hate-change girl. I missed my roommates, hated feeling alone, was exhausted, and caught myself legitimately angry I couldn’t pop in a movie. Not only that, but I wanted to see what those friends were up to. Twitter? No. Instagram? No. Good grief.
As my heart ached with the all-too familiar emotion of loneliness, I remembered to pray. It was Plan C.
Suddenly, reading passages like this were hitting me right in the face:
“They followed worthless idols
and became worthless themselves.” -Jeremiah 2:5b
So here’s what I’m taking away: the world doesn’t end if I miss something.
Life is busy. I’m after that life abundant thing Jesus promised me, and that is what I want to be chasing. I’m thrilled to join back into the social media conversations out there, but only if I’m chasing the things that matter first. Occasionally they overlap, like reading this blog or this one.
Media, like most of the moral-neutrals out there, is a heart issue. For the record, yes, I am both thrilled and relieved to catch up on season 3 of Downton Abbey. What does media addiction look like for you? Is it something you need to address in your own life?