Remember that experiment in self reduction I started in January of this year? I took an accidental hiatus from it because I seriously completely forgot about it. I hate to admit that. If you are wondering what I’m talking about you can read about the premise of my ‘experiment’ here. Over the course of 6 months I tackled excess in my life in the areas of clothing, possessions, waste, and spending after reading a book by Jen Hatmaker called ‘7’. The categories still to be completed: stress, media, and food. While writing this I had originally included ‘food’ into that list of areas I’d already tackled, probably out of wishful thing. Turns out I never actually completed that month, just talked about it. Ha. That is so me.
Chris and I have had so many changes to our life over the past few months, it’s truly a miracle I’ve gotten anything done. I’m not surprised I completely put this project on the back burner. The biggest task consuming my time recently has been my new business adventure. (since we’re talking about it, go like the Facebook page, share it a few times, and share this information with anyone who may need it. I specialize in helping children with developmental delays and disorders, particularly those families who may have just learned that Autism will now be part of their daily vocabulary). Shameless self-promotion over, I’ve decided to tackle media during the month of November.
This month’s experiment will, of course, begin on November 2nd because today (November 1st) I am busy binging on Netflix, reddit, Facebook, instagram, Pinterest, and the internets (all of them).
Here are my parameters. Read them, study them, and slap my phone out of my hand if you see my thumb hovering over the Facebook app with the little red circle indicating 99+ notifications. I’m going to need some help with this month:
- No television. Not even in a doctor’s waiting room. I solemnly swear. Tonight Chris and I are going to finish watching The Hunger Games: Catching Fire so I can cross that off my list and officially not pine after anything on Netflix right now.
- No Reddit. If you don’t know what Reddit is, I emplore you don’t look into it. Don’t ask about it. Don’t talk about it. And absolutely do not put an app on your phone. I will be removing the app from my phone as soon as this is posted.
- No Pinterest. I am not going to remove the app from my phone because in all honesty I don’t remember my user name and password and that would seriously be such a pain to try and get the app again. I am attempting to prep for the entire month’s worth of creativity and crafting needs in the next few hours before this experiment begins so I hopefully won’t find myself needing to enter the black hole of Pinterest ideas I will never actually attempt.
- No Instagram. Instagram is not usually my go-to time-waster so I feel pretty confident that I won’t be tempted to visit.
- Facebook will be limited. I will not be scrolling through my newsfeed. I will, however, be checking messages so If you want to talk to me about something and don’t have my number you can message me there. Don’t post on my wall. I won’t see it. I won’t be checking notification. I will resist. I swear. I will also be posting in two of my groups and on my Little Fish Speech Therapy page as needed. Gotta pay the bills.
- I will not use the internets for anything other than business related tasks or research. Or to look up the hours for the post office. Well, let’s be realistic. Replace the word ‘post office’ with ‘Target’.
- I will not play any games on my phone. I go through phrases with phone games and right now I’m in a lull, so hopefully this one won’t be difficult at all.
I will still listen to music, still watch sermon videos in our community group, and still use my coupon apps (don’t you dare take those away from me).
Chris and Charlotte will be joining me this month. Charlotte is already limited to 30 minutes of television a day, if even that… I’m still a stickler for following the guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics discussed in this post. The exception to that was when she was sick. I think she watched both Finding Nemo and Frozen in the same day with back to back episodes of Curious George sandwiched in between while she had the stomach bug. This is definitely going to be hard for her because she loves to ask for “FeeVee” and snuggle up on the couch with a snack. I think it will be even harder on Chris and I because we love when she can snuggle on the couch and watch “FeeVee” while we get lunches packed. Chris is also very much in the habit of being drawn to media throughout the workday because the nature of his work involves a lot of ‘hurry up and wait’ scenarios.
I think this will be a difficult month for both Chris and I. I’m sure this may seem pointless to some. Here are a few passages from Jen’s book that really convicted me to continue with my journey in self-reduction:
“Media has changed the way we interact with one another and what we spend our time doing. Our social norms have changed.”
“The dangerous part of our social media and technologically saturated world is not its existence but what it distracts us from.”
“My communion with God suffers not for lack of desire but time. And let’s be honest; I say I don’t have time, yet I found thirty-five minutes for Facebook and an hour for my shows. I found half an hour for YouTube videos on how to fix lil’ black girls’ hair (my Ethiopian children are on deck, and I can’t have them looking nappy). I found fifteen minutes for the radio and twenty-four minutes for a missed 30 Rock episode. So when I say I don’t have time, I’m a gigantic liar. I have time. I just spend it elsewhere.”
“If a fast doesn’t include any sacrifices, then it’s not a fast. The discomfort is where the magic happens. Life zips along, unchecked and automatic. We default to our lifestyles, enjoying our privileges tra la la, but a fast interrupts that rote trajectory. Jesus gets a fresh platform in the empty space where indulgence resided.”
– Jen Hatmaker, 7: An Expermental Mutiny Against Excess
Won’t you join me? Your reduction in media may look different from ours but I’d love to hear about it if you decide to limit even one aspect of media in your life!