25 April 2013

7 :: the media chapter

If I could sum up this 12 day fast with one word, I think I would choose "refreshment."  Weird, huh?  And not at all what I expected.  I honestly thought "media" would be the hardest thing for me...mainly social media.. mainly because my social life is limited in this season.  So I thought I would really "miss out" on the interaction.  But I did not.

Let me back up and tell you how I framed my "media fast."  I omitted Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  I allowed myself instagram, not exactly sure why I made that one "ok" but I did, and I don't regret it.  I decided to not turn on the TV in the morning even though we have a habit of morning snuggles while waiting for the local weather on GMA from 7:00-7:20am.  I also decided to not to turn on the TV or watch TV if I was the only one in the room. The fam opted out on this fast and it was ok.  A few nights, however, Brad and I just decided to read instead of watching junk TV and I think that is a habit that we might continue.

So that is what I did.

I hit a snag one day via instagram, when I tried to enter a sseko contest that was being held on FB.  I schemed a way for Brad to help me enter and then realized that it was much too complicated for it to go down that way.  I haven't yet checked to see what the actual rules are on the contest, maybe there's still time! {fingers crossed!}

So my overall impression was that I felt refreshed being off of social media and reading more.

  I didn't turn in to a crazy, productive person around the house - although I did make some awesome sugar cookies even without pinterest. 

There were other subtle but meaningful things I noticed as well.  I worked with Wilson on a school project, I try hard to be hands-off on projects so that I don't take it over.  I colored some cardboard brown for him and helped him turn his fish into 3D instead of one sided.  He told me "thank you for working on my project with me mom."  I realized that I might have just been reading twitter feeds, or FB statuses, or perusing pinterest for craft ideas if I weren't on this fast.  I also learned that it is possible to work with him and not for him

Another thing I noticed is that I seem to yell less.  I hate to admit that publicly, but its so true that it would be a shame to not share it.  This falls right into my word for the year - unflappable.  I realized sometime around when Lent started that there was a connection to when I yelled and that I was often holding my phone or iPad reading something via FB or twitter.  I would say, "let me read this real quick " or "hold on a second."  And inevitably when Lincoln or Franklin asked me for the 17th time to fix the door on the bus I would yell "enough already, I fixed it 16 times, rant, rant, rant..."  Gross.  So for the remainder of Lent I decided to take FB off of my phone & ipad, and only check it from the PC - usually once a day.  I haven't put it back on my phone and probably won't.  I noticed during this fast that I yelled less frequently and the flapping was less likely - probably because I was less distracted.

I'm still thinking over why I felt such refreshment being off of social media.  I am a thinker.  I like to think about things.  My strengths-finder test even said so --it also said it doesn't actually matter what the topic is, just that I think a lot -- so not necessarily a smart thinker.  Honestly, I think that is part of my issue with social media.  I'll see something on FB and then think about it off and on throughout the day.  This isn't always a bad thing, but more times than not I tend to stew over things... and not even necessarily things that impact my actual relationships. 

I tried to think of an example to share so you could get an inside glimpse to my thinking-thinker-brain but I don't want to make anyone feel like I am referring to a post they made in the past. The main impression I am getting is that it is my responsibility to reign in the thinking-thoughts when they begin to invade my day.  It'll start by adjusting some settings, and probably unfollowing some twitter peeps (I don't interact much on twitter but read a lot of links via various authors, speakers, and pastors).  I also sense an urgency to pray before checking up on my media and to pray when I feel the thinking-thoughts-tension coming - right then, not later. 

I think it is also critical to give myself space for creativity.  I can load up my limited "free time" with twitter and pinterest and facebook and often walk away with nothing to show for it.  I made this printable from a verse that really resonated with me after our Pastor preached from this passage a week ago.

I love making little printables like this.  It actually energizes me to be creative, but only if I allow myself the time and space for it.

One of the things I really liked about Jen Hatmaker's take on media in 7 is that there is a balance to be found.  Sure, sometimes its easier to just abstain than try and make reasonable boundaries for participation.  Here's a portion of what she wrote in the companion guide to 7:

In Corinthians, Paul wrote: "Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful.  Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up."  (1 Cor. 10:23)  I can no more decide what this looks like for you than figure out my apple TV.  This is no place to compare and judge.  We assess beauty and struggle and creativity and stories differently.  Some messages roll of you like Teflon, but they lodge in my thoughts for days.  Others don't affect me in the slightest, but they plant ideas in your head you can't shake.  And still others are probably a bad idea for all of us.  Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.

Once again.  It boils down to the heart.  Asking God to guide your boundary making will always bring good results. 

I am hoping to write a post tomorrow (?!?) about one of the awesome benefits of social media.  If time allows. ;)

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