I’m doing something unusual this week—I’m unplugging. Well, not completely. I am still going to be checking email and filtering comments for this blog, but I am going to completely pull the plug on one of my favorite media habits—Facebook. From the time this post goes up on the blog until this time next week, I am fasting from Facebook. That’s just a fancy way of saying; I’m taking a break.
Why? It’s not that I think Facebook is “bad” necessarily. There is a lot that is great about it. It gives me an opportunity to connect with friends who I don’t see often or don’t live near. I use it as a tool to keep my family updated with news of my adorable little boy. I even use it for ministry, to encourage girls from the youth group at my church and to remind them of upcoming events. But, I want to make sure that these benefits really outweigh the harm.
While it’s true that Facebook, and a lot of other forms of media, offer me a lot of benefits. There are also pitfalls. In this case, I spend a lot of time on Facebook, when honestly, I could probably put that time to better use. What more, sometimes I use Facebook as a means of “cyber gossip.” I can’t wait to see what everyone else is up to. I get pretty caught up in status updates and relationship changes. I’m not sure this is God-honoring.
And whether we like it or not, the way we use media does impact us. Nancy and Dannah write about this in Lies Young Women Believe.
“If you think you are immune to behavior changes influenced by your media choices, think again. Horror novelist Stephen King once said, ‘ Movies are the highest popular art of our time, and art has the ability to change lives.’ We are not immune from buying what they want us to buy, dressing how the want us to dress, and valuing what they want us to value” (Lies Young Women Believe, 151-152).
They’re right. Our media choices do impact us. With that in mind, I think it is important that we take a hard look at our choices to make sure that they do more good than harm. Otherwise, our media choices can slowly introduce us to lies and lead to bondage.
“If you are taking in regular or significant doses of music, television, the internet, and movies, you are being affected by them. The question is: Are you being influenced positively or negatively? The impact is usually not felt immediately—its more like an IV in your arm that goes drip…drip…drip…gradually pumping a foreign substance into your system. If the substance dripping through that plastic tubing is toxic or poisonous, you may not feel the results right away, but once it gets into your system, your whole body will definitely be affected!
Likewise, the consequences of taking toxic media into your mind and soul may not be realized until further down the road when it’s too late and the damage has been done” (Lies Young Women Believe, 152).
So, I’m turning off the drip. I am going to pray through my media choices, specifically my use of Facebook and I’m going to make sure that the pros outweigh the cons. I am going to strive to be especially mindful of how this particular media choice impacts my spiritual walk.
I’ll let you know what I come up with, but in the meantime I would like to invite you to join me. Take a break from your email, your television, or your music. Turn it off for a week or two and use that time to evaluate your media habits in light of what you know from God’s Word. Then, let’s talk about it right here on the blog. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you.