Monday, June 16, 2014

My Media Fast is Over!

I can't believe it's been over 40 days since I last blogged. Well, I can, since I'm not on a blogging schedule, but my media fast is finally over.

When I started my media fast, the idea was to go 40 days with no computer, no internet, no phone (besides calling and texting), hardly any email (only checking once a day), no tv, no movies, no anything.

Such hard rules didn't last long.

I was talking to a friend about it, and as I explained what I was doing, she said, "You're following the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law."

Exactly.

Not once did I get on Facebook or Instagram, which was #1 on my media fast list, and I am so glad I didn't do that.

But day 1 of my media fast, I needed to call my insurance agent. …How do you get a phone number anymore? Do yellow pages even exist? I had to use the computer. I had to look up their phone number and then I had to do some other things for the insurance and bank. All of that is done on a computer.  I have a small business that is run through Facebook. I had to get on to my business page (I never went on my personal page or read any notifications!). Things simply HAD to continue on through media.

I went into this media fast, so ready to realize how completely awful technology is. How it is a major waste of time, how I can accomplish so much more without it and how it drags us all down and lessens the Spirit in our home.

I came out of my media fast realizing that is just not true. Believe me, no one is more shocked about this than me! It CAN be true, but I appreciate technology now. I know that I need it. Although, I do feel the Spirit in our home is stronger now because we are more focused on just our family.

My media habits were a little bit out of control before. I checked Facebook before getting out of bed, during breakfast, while feeding Charlotte. I logged onto Instagram and read blogs as soon as I was done with dinner and immediately after getting out of the shower. I left the tv on all day long, even though we wouldn't sit down and watch it all day, but just because it's nice to have the background noise.

"May 7, 2014 Day 3…Usually the "best" time for me to be on my phone is breakfast. Here are some things that happened today during breakfast [that I would've missed otherwise]…Preslie was playing with her food and suddenly cheerios went flying across the table and the floor. 'Preslie! Please be careful.' I said maybe a little too exasperated. 'And please, just eat your food.' She sighed and said, 'Ok. I'm trying to be careful. I'm learning.'... A few minutes later Charlee wanted her cup. I saw it by the TV and was trying to get her to get it herself by pointed and saying, 'Go get it!' Chloe saw that she wasn't really understanding and got up, took her by the hand, and led her there. Boy, I think they're teaching me a lot more than I could show them. I wonder what else I've been missing with my phone to my face!"

It was hard the first few days. I felt like something was missing and I didn't know what else to do. I was really worried about how the girls would do, but they pleasantly surprised me. They did a great job. The first day I had some asking to watch TV but when I said no, they went on their way. The next day was a little harder and eventually (like after 4-5 days) I gave in to letting them watch a show occasionally. Do I feel like I failed my media fast because they would get to watch one or two shows a day? No. Not at all. Like I said, I learned how great technology is. I am so not against letting my kids watch tv. I know that's taboo these days, but not in my house! Sometimes you just need a minute of downtime - including kids. And by the end of the first week I would turn on a show for them if they asked (and it was an ok time for tv) and after 10 minutes they were off playing or doing something else, so I turned it off.

I'm not afraid of not having the tv on anymore. It's quiet. I like it.

"May 6, 2014 Day 2 of 40 Day Media Fast…Now that we're on Day 2 the novelty has worn off a little bit [for me] and the girls -Preslie mostly- really want to watch a show! We've played games, they took a bath, they played with their toys and their circus tent and it's now only lunch time. I thought I'd be able to get SO much done now that I'm not on my phone so much, but I feel like before the girls could be distracted by a show & I could get some work done. Now I feel like I'm entertaining them more. However, I DO see a lot more imaginative play than before."

The girls have gotten so much better about entertaining themselves. And I'm figuring out how to do stuff with them instead of waiting for them to go to sleep. This morning I mopped the front room with Charlotte walking all over it. Normally it'd drive me crazy, but I like her watching what I'm doing and wanting to be with me.

During my media fast I finished the Book of Mormon (I was in Alma or beginning of Helaman when it started), read 2 parenting books, 1 self-help book, and 3 novels. Cody and I finished "Lost" (which was part of my media fast deal) and I cried and cried when it was over. I spent more time planning at home dates since we don't go out very often, and I even went to the temple. I hadn't gone since last December.

However, I think one of the best things I learned was how much I DON'T CARE and DON'T LIKE social media. With no social media, I didn't lower my self-esteem reading articles about how to be a better mom, and more devoted wife, how I'm worthless because I don't have a spotless house and take the most award winning photos. I didn't read papers on how pornography is ruining the world and everyone along with it. Those things hurt my heart. And my heart doesn't like being hurt.

I didn't read comments by people going against my beliefs, tearing down things I love and deeply care about. I didn't feel anger towards others and want to blow them out of the water when they would say things that I thought were wrong and unkind.

I don't think all social media is bad. But honestly, I could go without. I became so much more involved with my family. I thought only about us and our friends and the people I am actually in contact with, instead of some random guy from high school I haven't seen or talked to in 10 years but I now hear all about his drunken weekend or his completely different views towards my religion.

I also didn't know exciting things, like Stephanie Barlow is pregnant!!!! Congrats, girl!! Lots of people are having babies, have had babies, had parties, took vacations, bought homes, and I didn't realize any of it. So no, It's not all bad. But it isn't necessary all the time. I can now scroll through Facebook and Instagram without stopping to read every little status update or every comment on a picture. I now have the tv off all day and no one says anything about it.

It's kind of great. I would definitely say my media fast was a complete success.

5 comments:

MakeMeUpMia said...

I can definitely see how this would be very freeing, I think I should try this soon!

LynnEl Springer said...

Very cool thoughts about your media fast. I'm so glad you did it! :)

Marlena Christensen said...

Awesome post! I was really excited to hear about your thoughts post fast. Did you listen to more music during this time?

RussellsRoost said...

Nice job Stacey! I never read blogs anymore what wanted to know how your fast went. I am glad to hear it was a success! It was fun to read what you learned. I miss you guys!
-Brittany

barlow.stephanie said...

Stacey I really enjoyed your findings. Especially the part about how you were able to avoid things that made your heart hurt. I find that it is so easy for me to compare myself or get on myself when I let social media stuff in too much. I haven't been on as much and I try not to get on fb on the evenings or weekends. I try to use it as a tool for my job and to keep in touch with certain people. Anyway. I loved this and thanks for sharing. Oh and Thanks for the congrats! I should have text you because I knew you were on your fast but I wanted you to find something awesome when you got back. LOL

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