Today while driving I happened upon a sermon being given about Media addiction and becoming spiritually desensitized. He challenged everyone to do a media fast and find out how addicted to media you are, or how spiritually desensitized you have become.
While this may sound easy, it may well be the hardest thing you do.
1. Take upon yourself to have a media fast for 1-10 days
This means totally unplugged from the media. Turn off that phone, turn off the television, the radio in the car etc. It all has to go.
Do this for at least one day, but up to ten if you can handle it.
Some will start to get jittery after an hour, going to check the phone. You may begin itching for that feeling of connection, stirring to hear the background sounds of all the media noise that is always around. If it is hard to go even an hour, you know that you are addicted.
2. After a period of media fasting turn on prime-time television and watch for an hour.
You may be shocked at what you find.
I have taken time to fast from the media several times over the last few years. I even wrote about it nearly 3 years ago on my other blog encouraging people to take time out to unplug. It is nice to get away from the media for a bit. It is nice to take a breather, but I did not go on to step 2. I did not stop to look at these questions: How does all the media affect us? Do we really get desensitized by it?
Recently I had an experience that put it all into perspective. I was watching the television and I started noticing that on this particular show people were being brutalized and shot right in front of my face and I was watching realized that I was not having much of a reaction to it. It was just "normal" All of a sudden a passage of scripture from the Book of Mormon ran through my mind from Mormon 2:18...... "a continual scene of wickedness and abominations has been before my eyes" It awoke me to the state that I was in.
I also at this time had an experience where I had picked a TV series for my husband and I to watch. We began the series and after a few episodes I noticed that there were things happening in the show that I knew were not good, yet I watched on because I was addicted to the series. A few more episodes and I found myself watching the women on this show-- women who were living a life far different from my own and found myself thinking "Is that what men want a woman to be like? Maybe I should...." All of a sudden; I awoke to my thoughts and said "Whoa! hold on a minute, Did I really just think that?" I was shocked and in disbelief that I had those thoughts. I told my husband that we could not watch that show anymore because it was affecting my thoughts and the way I related to the world. He agreed, yet he was like me--addicted!
A few more episodes and we finally decided to put the series away for good. It was poisoning us. I began to be more aware of what the family was being exposed to. I was finding it hard to be a good Christian/Proverbs 31 woman when other ideas and ways to behave were being presented before me. It was all becoming too appealing. I was starting to want to please the world as opposed to God. It was a startling realization for me to realize that I had convinced myself that "it isn't all that bad, there are worse things that we could be watching" but drop by drop it was adding up, the attitudes of what we were exposing ourselves to was creeping in my attitude and thoughts were changing. I was accepting things that 5 years ago I would have never even have imagined. It was time for a real change.
Now, We unplug a whole lot more. We are finding more time dedicated to learning the ways of the Lord and reading the scriptures. We are finding ourselves telling and retelling the stories of courage and hope from them. We are very aware of the media and are limiting its influence. We still watch more TV than needed, but I am putting a plan in place to limit the amount of media this summer while the children are out of school. It is a battle worth fighting. Being aware is the first step to lasting change. I am glad I became aware and have been able to begin a new chapter in our lives. Now it is your turn. Try the challenge, see what happens in your life.
Blessings to you,