Fasting and Feasting

21 11 2010

My youngest's Turkey Hat

So, this post marks the end of a 2-day media fast suggested by a small group lesson I had on Thursday night.  No TV, email/web only for work (and I also used it to read the bible…Biblegateway.com is just too darn fast compared to finding verses in the bible.) :), and only positive/”christian” music.

The idea is that by doing these types of fasts, we do a couple of things:

1) Recognize our reliance (and often, addiction) to these things.

2) Take more time to do quality, personal interactions instead of vegging out in front of a screen.

3) Pay more attention to what’s going into our heads/hearts through media saturation.

I also finished recently, with a 30-day social media fast.  I would check facebook for no more than 5 minutes a day, and only about once per week, (just to ensure no one was trying to get a hold of me, that couldn’t otherwise), ZERO twitter, and tried to generally avoid anything that was very self-centered, online-wise.  I ditched the Frontierville, stopped trying to one-up my friends quirky comments, and all that jazz associated with the very me-centric life of an online social network.

From these two experiments, I have a couple of reflections and remarks:

1) I found that I am too dependent upon these technologies.

I don’t think it’s right to say that there’s anything inherently bad about them.  I just think that like money, there’s nothing wrong with it.  It’s when we rely too much on money, or social networking, or media, that things get dicey.  With my 30 day experiment in social networking, I found that I was actually having to literally force myself in abstaining that first week or so.  I would walk to the computer, sometimes even get to the point of booting up the browser before I said to myself, “Wait a second, I’m not doing this.  I agreed to not do this.”

That’s pretty sickening.

2) My reliance on these mediums did decrease with my abstinence.

Meaning, that after that first week with the social media, and after not using the television as much, or the internet for more than work, I found that I simply COULD deal with it.  That my life didn’t fall apart, and that while sure, there were some “boring” times, I tended to fill those times with what I could do, which was read (sometimes even, GASP!, the Bible!  Go figure!).

3) The time I would normally be consuming television especially, was the time I found I interacted more with my children.

The last two days have been busy and interesting, but mostly because my kids have taught me how to use my down time.  I’ve made more crafts and spent more time reading with my children in the last two days than I have in the last three weeks, easily.  Which is not to say I don’t do those things normally… I do.  But I don’t give as much time and effort to that.  I don’t take the time to grow my kids’ creativity.  I just sit down with them, set them up so they can color or paint or whatever, and leave them be.

This weekend, I found my eldest daughter has an amazing creativity in her.  She came up with “turkey hats”.  Now, you may not know what a turkey hat is.  That’s because she created them.  What you do is you take a one-inch tall strip of yellow (in retrospect, it would probably make the effect better with brown) construction paper, measure it to fit on your head.  Then, in the center of it, you glue or tape two googly eyes, a small orange triangle, and a little squggly strip of red (the gobble-gobble, as my daughter called it, but I think it’s called the “snood” or “wattle”…can’t find consensus online) to go on the side of the triangle to hang down.  These parts are glued or taped on under the eyes, with the triangle protruding down past the head-circumference strip.

Next, you cut at least four “feathers” out of blue, yellow, red, and orange construction paper (you get a great feather effect by “fringing” the sides, by the way), and glue or tape those sticking up off the back.  You join the strip in a circle, and voila!  You have a turkey hat!

The point is that my daughter designed, crafted, and proudly wore this cute thing all by herself.  We all joined in.  We all have turkey hats now.  I love it.  I wouldn’t have taken the time to get all the supplies for my daughter and helped her glue/tape some of these things (most likely, at least) if I was sitting and watching TV or checking my facebook, or whatever.

Over all, I think my conclusion here is that I obviously love technology, the opportunities it provides and the conveniences of these things.   But I need to be more aware of the impact on my life.  These conveniences don’t come without a price.  I’m grateful for what my experiments taught me, and I think I’ll be a more informed consumer of these technologies in the future.  (And I have a turkey hat now.  Bonus!)

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2 responses

22 11 2010
Aducky1

I love the fact that, having learned the many benefits to putting off social media for other and more important things, you sit down and blog about it. Only in America.

Love and Muffins!

22 11 2010
OtakuDad

Well keeping it to myself just seemed selfish. And let’s be honest. I mostly talked about the turkey hats.

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