– The first week has felt a bit like a vacation. When we are on vacation we limit our media sort of by accident. Traveling, experiencing new things, spending time with people we don’t usually see, not having regular access to our screens just creates a natural break from our media consumption. So last week felt like vacation, even though we were still at home.
– Our evenings feel more peaceful and we are getting lots of extra sleep. Our evening routine used to consist of turning on Netflix after the boys were in bed. Aaron and I would watch a show while also each interacting with our own screens (Aaron on his laptop, me checking Facebook and Pinterest on the Kindle). We usually ended up staying up later than we anticipated. Now we brew some tea, curl up with a book, or have a conversation. We have consistently been in bed by 10pm because there were no other distractions!
– I feel like my “mental space” is more peaceful. By not reading blogs and not seeing peoples opinions on Facebook I feel much less anxious. I have the tendency to compare myself with others and I am seeing that while reading blogs can be useful it also causes me to constantly compare myself and my life to others. Just one week without blogs and I feel like I have more mental space to enjoy the life I have and not worry about whether I am “doing it right” or “doing enough.” And let’s face it, being subjected to everyone’s opinions on Facebook is just tiring. Or at least I am realizing it was for me. It feels good not to be subjected to everyone’s political, social, parenting, yada yada, opinion.
– The boys have been doing great! With screens not even being an option they just don’t ask me about screen time. They automatically find other ways to amuse themselves and so far have not seemed to miss screens much at all. This has relieved a lot of the constant back-and-forth about who gets how much screen time and when. I have also noticed that being disconnected from screens really does have an effect on behavior. We have had fewer arguments, tantrums, etc.
– I have been so productive. It really is amazing, and humbling, to see how much has been neglected around here because I was distracted by a screen. I have been cleaning, baking, organizing, working in the yard, giving our budget an overhaul, all because I have the time. When I find myself with 15 minutes I have to think of something to occupy myself besides a screen. It really is amazing how much can get done in 15 minutes.
– Not having screens does not eliminate the antsy feeling of needing to be distracted. There are certain times during the day when I just want to check out. I love to read, so I am doing a lot of reading. But that can also become a habit that disengages me from the people around me and distracts me from doing what needs to be done. There are still plenty of ways to shirk my responsibilities, screens just make it a bit easier.
– The beginning of the 2nd week has become more difficult. I do use Facebook as a primary form of communication with many people and I am starting to feel just a tad bit disconnected. Friends in church are due to have babies, weddings are happening, family members are scheduled to take trips, and I feel like I will be missing out on a lot by not following their adventures on Facebook.
So the fast continues and I am learning a lot about myself and our family. Have you ever intentionally taken a media fast? How did it feel?