Well, the fast from media and technology is drawing to a close! Having decided that the last day of each month will be a neutral day to relax and regroup before starting the next fast for the next month, today was my last day! I thought it might be good for me to summarize a few things that this month has taught me. First, I found that since I didn’t have TV or social media, I was more aware of everyone around me and therefore more aware of how I could serve them. In me, TV and social media fostered laziness both physically and mentally. In my spare time I never thought of anyone but myself, and therefore never did anything for anyone but myself (Ouch. This was hard to admit. But it’s true!). Being so saturated in media causes both laziness and apathy, both of which are forms of what I like to call spiritual poverty.
However, being free from media and technology this month has enlightened me to that laziness (and self-centeredness) and begun a change that hopefully will carry over into my day to day life. For example, before school started back and all I did all day was sit around and watch TV, I found that I WILLINGLY cleaned the house for my Mom and didn’t feel bitter about it while I was doing it! Usually, I know that Mom expects me to have the house clean when she gets home, and I’m almost always bitter about it because it cuts into “my time” to watch TV or surf the internet (sorry, Mom). But this month not having TV or social media has made me realize that no time is “my” time, and ALL the time that I have should be time spent loving my “neighbor” as myself and seeking out ways that I can serve those who are around me. Social media is so self-centered that most of the time it blinds us from seeing the needs of those around us.
This month I also struggled with whether or not to delete my social media accounts altogether. However, in “The Seven Experiment” study guide, Jen Hatmaker explains a little bit about the relationship between social media and being “in the world but not of it.” She points out that as Christians, we have to be proactively intelligent about what we allow into our minds (especially when it comes to provocative advertisements and such). We must always be seeking out the truth. Jen says, “Truth turns us into wise teachers, not simply avoiders.” You know what’s better than avoiding social media? Being smart, speaking and seeking out truth, and engaging the culture where it’s at in order to leverage it for the good of the kingdom.
Will I be setting boundaries for the amount of time I spend using social media/technology after this month? You bet I will. But will I be more aware about leveraging my social media for Christ from now on? You bet I will. When it comes to TV and media, instead of “checking my brain at the door,” as Jen puts it, I will be intentional about seeking out what is true, noble, and righteous. I pray that God continues to convict me and teach me about how to use well the time that He grants me each and every day. I pray that for you, as well.
Lord, teach us to seek first Your Kingdom in all that we do, so that Your name might be magnified in all the earth!