Tuning Out: Media

“Sweetheart… HEELLLLLLOOOOOOOO!!!! Ahem. Can you please mute the TV so  I can talk to you?” 

We live in a society that is consumed with media. Everywhere we look– there’s a TV, computer, phone, iPad, radio waiting to grab our attention.

Don’t get me wrong. Media can be REALLY productive. I mean seriously, this entire ministry is essentially media based.

However, media can also become a time-sucking, heart-focusing idol.

“Wait, wait, wait. An idol? Seriously, Sharita? My TV/phone/computer/iPad?? “

Yes, my friend. Seriously. According to dictionary.com, an idol is “any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion.” 

Um yeah… This reason alone is why my sweet husband and I are currently in the middle of a media fast.

This idea was inspired via three different directions. First, by Jen Hatmaker’s book “7: The Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” (remember when we did the 7 foods fast a couple months ago?). Second, our pastor at church. And third?

Jesus. Let’s not forget Jesus.

A couple of weeks ago, media (TV specifically) suddenly became a source of contention in our marriage. It was dictating our time together, and between that and media in general, we started looking upon it with blind adoration and devotion.

Yeah, not OK.

So after some prayer, we decided to tune out– for a month.

Oh, and turning off the  TV isn’t the only piece of this puzzle… I have been limiting my time on Facebook to “business only” (as in, doing ministry and responding to important messages, but no browsing of other people’s business just to browse) as well as limiting time on Twitter. It is also my new policy not to check any source of media after my husband walks in the door from work. (Since he works as a drill sergeant, our time is so limited that it is dumb for me to be spending it on the computer and iPad when he is actually around.)

No TVs

Source: Mykl Roventine via Flickr Creative Commons

We are over halfway done with our media fast– and here’s where we stand:

On the issue of TV: I am LOVING it. I jokingly(ish) said I would be ok with selling the TV. My sweet husband vetoed that in a hurry. Giving up TV (we only do DVD movies and Netflix anyways) is pretty easy for me. I’m not a TV watcher. Hardly ever. The hubby, on the other hand, is a pretty huge fan of it. So it has been probably more challenging for him than me.

On the issue of Facebook/Twitter/media in general: This one has been harder for me– it’s my time filler and primary news source. It has taken some serious self-control not to burn my time just messing on Facebook because I can.

However, it has been AWESOME for our relationship. We have had more legit conversations, spend more time with the Lord and read more books than ever before. It’s really great.

(Anyone want to buy a TV? Just kidding, Brandon.)

God spoke to me last week about what this could look like after the our minimal media fast ends… I won’t go into all the details (He was pretty specific) but here is the general idea…

* On Brandon’s work days: 1 hr of TV per day after he comes home, his choice of show OR if we agree on 1 movie together, that’s ok.
*NO Facebook/Twitter/Email checking for me when Brandon finishes his hour of TV time
*On days off: No more than 3 hrs of TV per day… and shows have to be dual choice of program/compromise so we can watch together
*When we aren’t together– use media only as necessary, ensuring that we have had adequate Jesus time beforehand.

I’ve loved our non-TV and minimal media time so far and am very excited to see how God continues to use this literal quiet time to shape our marriage and relationship with Him.

Are there any areas in your life that  distract or consume you or are on the verge of being an idol in your life? Is media an issue in your household? Or has it been before? How did you deal with it? What do you think of our experiment? I always love receiving your feedback– leave a comment below!

I am so thankful that God keeps us on track– tuned out to the “stuff” in life and tuned into Him.

I don’t needa-so-much-media,

“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” ~1 John 5:21

Categories: God, idol | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Tuning Out: Media

  1. Mama Lex

    Good for you and Brandon for focusing more on Him. Brandon will survive 🙂

  2. My blog this week on aquaangst is based on the verse in Ecclesiasties about empty words. Seems like you and Brandon have lessened the negative effect of empty words by limiting your media time. From now until the first of November(election) looks like the perfect time for a media fast. Great idea.

    • Thanks Ann– and that is very true– limiting the empty words sure allows for a lot more opportunity for His FULL words to penetrate our hearts!

  3. fullherlife

    Hey Sweet Woman! Have fun finishing this up strong together! It’s SO good to take a step back and ask what God is calling us to do with our time, gifts, and energy. Thanks for sharing! ~ Blessings, Amy 🙂

  4. Cody and I are challenged with this also, but it is mostly about using the computer for productive school time (I have 2 masters classes, he has 2 online classes to finish his associates) I am so glad you have set a great example for others.

    • I feel ya sister… with my online ministry hoopla and then Brandon’s college course, media still plays a huge role in our lives– even with the TV off. But we are finding a way to compromise and keep time for God and each other front and center.

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