Having not grown up in the liturgical tradition, keeping Lent is unfamiliar to me. I always heard of people "giving up" things for Lent, and never understood how giving up chips or pizza deepened one's understanding of the sacrificial love of Christ. But lately I've been thinking of doing a fast, and since Lent is fast approaching, it seems very traditional, and appropriate. I am considering giving up the recreational use of electronic equipment/media. Like Faceb**k. And television. The radio. It really seems like I fritter away far to much time half-heartedly pecking at keyboards, surfing from site to site, looking at the same old nothing. Or I turn on the TV as I crawl into my bed, and half-heartedly click from channel to channel, until some bit of nothing catches my interest. Or I'm driving in the car, and I want some noise, so I seek, and seek, and seek until something familiar comes flickering across the radio waves. OK, I live in the country, and radio listening in the car is a bit spotty, but I'll listen to some dreadful eighties pop music fading in and out, over the sound of the car and my own thoughts.
What would happen if I stopped drifting from image to image, soundbite to soundbite? Would I think on spiritual things more often? Would I find my attitudes changing? Would I have more time to do productive things? Maybe I would just sleep more and be more well rested, and thus less likely to be cranky and fall into sin. Really I'm not sure at all. What if it revolutionized my life? Would I just slip back into the same-old same-old, just as soon as Easter came and went? One thing I know for sure. I would need to set myself ground rules, or before long I'd be making myself exceptions and justifying my slip ups as necessary. I know how weaselly I am. Here are some rules I've considered:
- No Faceb**k at all. Once a week (probably around midweek) I would check the PM's as I get camp info and scheduling info for my kids via that method. But I would ignore newsfeeds, walls, and notifications.
- I would check my email once a day to delete all the junk, and respond to all necessary correspondence (which I do actually get there). I would ignore silly forwards and intriguing advertisements.
- I would use the computer for necessary research/purchases such as homeschooling and airline tickets.
- I would not use the computer to read random Wiki articles and plan pretend vacations.
- I would not watch TV, with the exception of watching a movie with family. Which generally puts me to sleep.
- I would not turn on the radio in the car. If I want music, I would remember to bring a CD with me. Which I won't.
- Would I read blogs? Probably not. I like to waste time on blogs. And Wiki random article.
- Would I blog? Maybe. Maybe I'd find more time, or be full of deep thoughts, and blogging would seem the natural thing to do. Or maybe I'd forget I had a blog, since I'd be away from my computer so much. Not really sure on that one.