Media Fasting

I no longer spend my days sitting in front of a glowing screen, as I so often had to do back in my office-work days. But neither am I completely separated from screens now either. I start each morning with a cup of coffee and some time at the computer–I post on this blog, scan the news headlines and, time permitting, have a look at a few other blogs. Later, I try to spend an hour at the end of the day, just before bedtime, with a book. But before sitting down with my book, I try to respond to the comments on my blog, again putting me before a computer screen.

A couple of months ago I did an involuntary media fast. I had to trade in my computer for a new one, so I spent several computerless days. Without my morning blogging routine, I found that I was outside starting the day at least a half hour earlier than normal (sometimes taking my coffee along with me). In the evenings, I started my book time sooner. It caused me to realize how much time I spend online–time that would otherwise be spent outside or reading a book.

I’m not one of those people who goes on the internet and complains about its existence. I enjoy the internet, and even as we’ve shed someĀ of the things folks use to keep themselves entertained (like television), I wouldn’t want to go back to life without the internet. I’m a fan of the information age, even as I recognize that its impact isn’t all good.

But I’m wondering if I shouldn’t take a break from it now and then. Instead of waiting for my computer to break before taking my next media fast, maybe I should make them a regular practice.

It’s good to break a routine now and then, if for no other reason, just to know you can. I’m still thinking about it, and what a fasting discipline might look like. Just thinking on a rainy morning…