I chose to welcome the new year by doing a media fast. For the sake of honesty, I shall divulge this fast was not 100% off all media—although I think I should do exactly that even if for just a short time.
Back in October, my daughter and I traveled to France for almost three weeks. During that time, my cell phone only functioned when I had Wi-Fi. Moreover, before we even left for the airport to begin our trip, I had uninstalled the Instagram app.
This means that for eighteen glorious days I hardly used my phone or the internet.
France, being nine hours ahead, also meant I had but a very small window in which to communicate with my family back home in the States.
No phone calls.
No checking my phone to see if I had messages.
No checking Instagram to see if there were comments, new likes, or how many followers I had acquired.
Except for a few minutes on Facebook to keep tabs on my kids or a few friends, I was off doing my own thing. I was no longer tethered to electronic devices, or numbers, likes, followers, emails, messages, phone calls…
It was grandiose.
And, so enlightening.
This break was so delicious, that my return stateside, I had no desire to check my emails or my Facebook account. I did not reinstall the Instagram app until the end of the Month. I was conflicted and even considered deleting all my accounts.
This media fast was spectacular and so nourishing.
Media Fast Copy-Cat
The media fast idea is neither new nor is it my own idea. I copied the idea from Lee, an Instagram buddy, who regularly says “sayonnara” to his followers and unplugs.
I was enthralled by this concept and envious of his down time.
Moreover, when we go on vacation and my routine is different, I have very little desire to be online and I love it. However, once back at home, I too quickly go back to all my old habits.
Here, we were one day past Christmas when Lee’s feed announced another media fast. What a phenomenal idea I thought to myself. I’ll tag along. Lee won’t mind.
The December Funny Farm
December had, so far, produced gift shopping and wrapping, Christmas card writing, cookie decorating, baking, tree shopping, house cleaning and let’s not forget, a trip to Nevada for training, and a reluctant visit to the dentist.
To this list, I can add the humdrum tasks I regularly perform as a wife and mother. Tedious and repetitive—but necessary—duties such as grocery shopping, laundry, and the likes. Then, there are my obligations as a blogger and wanna-be entrepreneur and writer.
Plates I endeavor to keep balanced as best I can.
In the midst of this balancing act, I often forget to pause and smell the roses so to speak. I am too busy scratching items on my to-do list.
Answer email, check.
Check Instagram, check.
Fold the laundry, check.
Waste precious on Facebook reading memes, check.
Write a post, check.
Every meticulous check mark births a couple additional tasks in an absurd game of life. Do more, more, more. The perfect definition of the rat race.
Media Fast Now
However, December 26, as I saw Lee’s post, I decided the heck with it.
There shall be no blog post this week. There shall be no Instagram checking. Uninstall app.
When it comes to Facebook, I should have done the same. It took a good three days before I relaxed enough to not even care about this platform at all.
By December 29th, I did not even go on the computer until mid-afternoon. I was finally breathing easier and deeper.
What My Media Fast Looks Like
I took care of myself that day. Slept in. Ate well and often. Went for a long walk. Meditated. Listened to an audiobook. I then sat in my big comfy chair, listened to my twins in their room watching a movie, felt the warmth of the crackling fire.
I even took the time to observe some big white fluffy clouds lazily streak by in the bluest sky. I savored the crisp cold air and enjoyed the sound of my dog panting at my feet and of a cacophonous woodpecker calling in a nearby tree.
Man, I should do this more often!
Maybe I shall extend this fast till Valentine’s Day!
Unplugging is glorious!