In my Wednesday night Bible study we are smack dab in the middle of the fourth fast in the 7 study by Jen Hatmaker, and this week’s focus is on media. Since 95% of my work life is spent at a computer I couldn’t do a complete technology fast as Hatmaker and her family did, so instead I opted to take weeklong break from Facebook and the radio.
Surprisingly, the Facebook fast has not been as challenging as I thought it would be. There was an initial twinge of regret that I might be missing out on some exciting news but I quickly adjusted to not getting daily reports on what people are having for dinner or how much they loooooooove their husband who is sitting on the couch right next to them. I told my sister about my Facebook break and I trust that she will alert me if any big actual news drops.
Taking the Facebook break did make me realize just how much I rely on it to communicate with my friends. It’s all too easy for me to substitute a quick “How ya doin’?” message for real, meaningful interaction. I’m glad to report that last night I had dinner (live and in person!) with two of my good friends whom I hadn’t hung out with in a few months and have plans to have lunch with another good friend tomorrow. Facebook and other electronic means of communication can be great tools for staying in touch with people but they just aren’t the same as face-to-face talks.
The part of the fast that’s been a little more challenging to me has been the radio fast. I’m taking a break from listening to the radio in my car and also from listening to Pandora in the morning as I get ready for work. On a couple of occasions I’ve caught myself automatically reaching for the “on” button on the car radio when I crank it up and have had to stop myself. Although I often ride in silence on my way to work in the morning and use that time for prayer time, I’m not used to silence in the car all the time. (I know I’m not getting much sympathy right now from you parents who are used to riding around with noisy kiddos.) The quiet time is giving me more time for uninterrupted prayer or just thinking time. Still, I’ll be glad when the week’s over and I can have a little more noise in my life.
Have you ever taken or considered a fast from some form of media?