For one week, I cut seven forms of media from my life. This was difficult for me, but mainly because I ALREADY do not have a Smartphone, do not have internet at home, and do not have cable at home. Those are the three big ones, so what else do I cut out?
The seven I chose were: texting (ouch!), Facebook, Pinterest/Twitter, radio, television (meaning my Gilmore Girls DVD’s), and all extra Internet browsing.
(I was inspired by the book “7” by Jen Hatmaker)
All in all, and I’ve gone through this week twice now, I love the real connections it gives me with people. When I do a Media Fast, it forces me to pick up the phone and call people. I know it may sound prehistoric, but it so soothing to my soul to pick up the phone just to chat. Remember middle school, when you couldn’t go an evening without talking to your best friend on the phone, catching up about your days, planning what to wear the next day, working on your homework together over the phone? Well, I do, and I’m glad I grew up in the decade I did. So, this last week, my friend Maggie was also doing the fast. And she and I exchanged calls and voicemails EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK. It reminded me of middle school, and it was so awesome!
Can I be honest for a second?
I have a really hard time with Facebook. I don’t have a smartphone, so sometimes I feel left out, like I don’t get to post as often as others do, and I don’t get to post as many pictures, so I don’t get as many “likes”. People “like” posts with pictures; it’s just what we do. So when my posts don’t include pictures, I know they don’t “draw the eye”, and I know people scroll past my posts without reading them, and I know people aren’t interested. And that kinda sucks.
Or how about everyone posting pictures of their awesome trips and vacations, or their new cars, or purses, or new babies, or their recent half-marathon? How do these make me feel when I haven’t had a vacation in a while, have driven the same car for 30 years, can’t run a mile to save my life, or had my babies 20 years ago, before I could share their every milestone moment instantly? They make me feel left out, like I somehow don’t fit in, like I’m missing something.
It’s a sometimes difficult, really raw, at times confusing place to be: knowing I don’t fit into the norm, but refusing to do the things to place myself there. Knowing that I don’t have something that 90% of the country has, but knowing in my heart that I never want to have it. Knowing that I will always be missing something, because I can’t change society, or technology, AND that I'm not willing to partake of said technology....
I write this as an insecure, vulnerable person. But the thing is, I’m not the only one out there. At least I’m one of the Insecure who purposefully puts distance between myself and the Pressure of Facebook, and I’m not sitting at home, living through other people, posting attention-seeking statuses, coveting what others have or experience, begging someone, ANYONE to take an interest in me.
But there are such people out there. Impressionable people--kids, teens, young adults.
So what message are we sending to these people, when we tell them, "Get with the times" or "you really need to get a new phone", and just what are we allowing technology to become?
These thoughts may not make sense to everybody, but I'm just sharing here......