This week of the 7 experiment focused on media. I knew when I got the book and flipped through the chapters the media would probably be the hardest week. In some ways those expectations were met but in other ways, not so much (which was a pleasant surprise).
When the week began, I initially decided to give up everything. No television, movies, unnecessary internet or email, no social media, no apps (just texting/calling), no blogs, and so on. One of my goals of this though was not to address just the amount of media I consume, but the quality. Because of this, I allowed myself to read news websites to start becoming better versed in current events and issues in other parts of the world (It made me realize why I like to avoid the news… my mind can’t wrap around what is going on in other countries, it’s so heart breaking – but important to be aware of).
I did this for three days and became very aware of what media I felt like is okay and positive for my life and what is a negative influence. I realized that I have good media literacy and can determine what lies/assumptions/stereotypes are portrayed in media. I am also good at making sure if I am at dinner, with friends, or doing something social, I rarely have my phone out. The author addressed these areas of media consumption and I was happy to feel like I was already in a good place.
The negative influences were primarily Facebook, Instagram, and fashion blogs. The phrase, “negative influences” makes it sound like they were peer-pressuring me to do drugs so I use the phrase lightly. These things are not inherently bad, but were the pieces of media that I felt like were consumed often, in large amounts, and with little fruitful outcome. I typically use them to kill time, procrastinate, and escape from stress.
These three outlets were primarily used for entertainment and to keep my brain occupied. When I felt stressed, lazy, or had any ounce of time to kill, I would open one of these things on my phone and scroll. Being entertained and checking these outlets are not even that bad and I do enjoy it – but the amount of time I was spending robbed time from other things that are more of a priority to me.
Cutting out all the ‘excess media’ (the phrase I am using to distinguish between quality media and time-wasting media) this week has been really positive for me. I have been reading the news, reading a book (getting some real use out of my kindle), reading comic books, cooked a lot of new recipes, and found new blogs about richer subjects that I am really enjoying.
I haven’t decided yet what I want to be permanent changes and what I will allow back. Right now I am considering creating a time limit each day that I can check excess media. Probably 15 minutes a day I can do mindless media – Facebook, Instagram, fashion blogs, and then shut it down after that. After this week, It really solidified to me that that is all the time those outlets really need.
I’m hoping that this will also encourage me to continue investing in this blog and be inspired to share interesting articles and write more. This last year I have begun to enjoy writing so much more and want to make it a hobby that I continue to invest in (I guess until grad school starts again in the fall and I have no more time left).
Going through this process of 7 has been such a breath of fresh air for me. It has been the catalyst of investing in my faith again. I was in such a stagnant space spiritually for the last three years and I am so thankful that God has been using this book and study to bring me into a better place. I have been so encouraged by this process of learning, growing, and refining myself. I am really looking forward to what is ahead (that sounds so cheesy, but you get the idea).