I watched a documentary today that was very convicting. It's called Captivated and it's about finding help for our media-captivated culture. I was squirming in my seat as I watched because it forced me to face my own media addictions: cable tv, Facebook, texting, media multi-tasking, computer and phone games. I looked at myself and I didn't like what I saw. I'm not the type of person who sees an unsatisfactory thing in themselves and just keeps going.
I am committing to the following changes...
1. I am going to talk to Doug about cancelling our AT&T U-verse service. Just thinking about not having access to all the shows that I typically watch makes me kind of panicky, which is a good indicator that I need to cut the cord. I think Doug will be up for this because he has thrown the idea out himself in the past (and received a rather hostile and defensive response from his loving wife). I have no intention of cutting us off entirely though.
We'll be keeping Netflix and I can always watch network shows on their websites.
2. Facebook and I are ending our affair. I will check it only once per day. The instant gratification I received from frequent Facebook updates is the reason I have let my blog go (despite multiple attempts to revive it). No more. I am going to try to give up Instagram as well. I will carry the camera with me or email photos from my phone to myself so that I can use them in my blog. The practice of putting my thoughts together into a coherent blog update in the evenings will benefit me far more than having my friends 'Like' every random thought that I have during the day.
[sigh] I used to be a pretty good writer. Now I have a hard time keeping my thoughts in one place long enough to type out a whole story. I don't like that.
3. I will not text, play phone games, or play computer games when there is another human in the room with me. Anything that needs to be said urgently can be said in a phone call. Games only serve to distract me from something far more important - relationships.
4. I will use only one type of media at a time. This might actually help me cut down on my tv viewing because I really don't like to sit and stare at the screen for very long. That is why I tend to have the tv on, my phone next to me, and my computer in my lap. Disgusting. If I can't sit still to watch the show, then it must not be that good. If my hands really need something to keep them busy, then maybe I'll take up crocheting again.
I'll have to ponder that one though. Not sure crocheting (or other crafty-type things) would be any better because I'd still be multi-tasking. And here's the plain truth: You cannot give your full attention to more than one thing at a time. Think about it.
Let's see, is that all?
Oh, I might also give up my subscription to the digital version of the newspaper and start getting a physical one. It's more expensive and less environmentally friendly, but it's better for my eyes and brain.
Please keep me accountable to these commitments. Ask me how it's going. If you see me updating Facebook during the day, then call me on it! Some of these changes will be gradual and they might take time. I'll try to avoid perfectionism and keep my eye on trajectory.