7 Weeks of Less - MEDIA
I'm in the middle of a 7 week experiment inspired by the book 7 - An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. I'm calling my journey 7 Weeks of Less. I'm 6 weeks in. Read on to see how it's going - and join me if you'd like!
- No Facebook (except SignsbyAndrea-related)
- No Pinterest checking and surfing.
- No blog reading.
- No television.
- No Netflix or Hulu.
- No radio.
- Just telephone, email and texts for communication.
- No magazines or books. (added later)
I'm actually looking forward to this week. I spend entirely too much time surfing the web, reading blogs and checking pinterest and facebook again and again and again and again.
WOW. I'm a click-addict. In a big-bad-way. I use Facebook, checking my web site stats, email, Pinterest, and blog reading as an escape from my world, an "out" of my head, and as a way to avoid thinking about important things or talking with the people around me. And I use it a LOT.
This week was my hardest week yet, and the biggest felt sacrifice so far. While I gained a lot of extra time by not checking in on those things all week (in addition to not watching television or movies), I tried pretty hard not to fill that time with other types of distractions. So, I didn't allow myself to read books, plan a bunch of all-day playdates or call everyone and their brother just to chat. I did however work on a photo organizing project in the evenings. I mean...I needed SOMETHING productive to do.
But truly this week was eye-opening for me. Maybe not life-changing (addicts take a LONG time to be completely reformed), but definitely eye-opening.
In a lot of ways, those web sites, movies and social media outlets are my largest form of entertainment everyday. They're fun. I like it. So this week, I felt like everything was all work and no fun, kind of like being grounded as an adult. That daily entertainment often serves as my "count to ten" moment to distract myself from frustrations with the kids or my to-do list, etc. and helps me calm down. At the same time, those very same things probably cause just as much stress as they relieve by making me feel like I have to be "in-the-know" about so many not-that-important things.
Am I going to quit Facebook & Pinterest? Not a chance. Will I try to back it down a notch (or two)? Yes.
Day 1 - Sunday, June 24, 2012
My morning routine of checking email, reading blogs, facebook, checking pinterest. Um...yeah, that only takes about 3 minutes now, when it used to take 30.
I only accidently clicked on my Pinterest bookmark once. Thankfully, I had Ben block both Pinterest and Facebook from working on my computer. Then even if I mess up...I can't go any farther. Kind of like parental guidance controls. Only I'm the parent.
This afternoon, Ben watched a movie. I took a nap and took Ayla to Toys R Us to pick out a birthday present. No radio allowed in the car. So she talked...a LOT.
Ben said that he noticed this afternoon I was acting kind of crazy and jittery, like I needed a click fix and didn't know what to do with myself.
Tonight we started going through photo boxes so we can put together some boxes to ship off and have our photos scanned. That was actually a lot of fun, going through old pictures. This is the perfect week for that kind of project.
Day 2- Monday, June 25, 2012
I watched Kailyn & Isaac this morning, so with the exception of about 45 minutes at my computer this morning, writing and posting a newsletter & sale for SignsByAndrea, I didn't have much computer access anyhow. We spent most of the morning driving all over B'ham with four kids.
This afternoon, I took a nap (or tried to), but then spent a good portion of the late afternoon wandering. I didn't want to work, didn't have a project...and would normally have been on Pinterest or Facebook.
Tonight I took the kids to a Girl Scouts party and we all played outside and had real person-to-person interaction and fun. :) Good to have on no-Media week.
After the kids went to bed, I went back to weeding through photos while Ben watched a movie in the other room.
So..I'm definitely feeling this fast. I miss Facebook. Then Pinterest. Then blog reading. Then music in the car. In that order. But I have LOTS more free time...
Day 3 - Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Worked all morning. Paxton played with a babysitter. I spent the majority of the time in the garage with earplugs in while cutting wood with my new miter saw. So...no media necessary there. :)
Day 4 - Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
My Fitness magazine came today. As I was eating lunch I found myself leafing through it, getting totally engrossed in the ads (which were all Olympic themed)... Then I realized "THIS IS MEDIA!" And it pained me to close the magazine and set it aside until next week. :(
Tonight we went to a BBQ with some people from church at an apartment complex for some men who are getting back on their feet after troubles with addiction, etc. It was a nice social event, and a great evening for all of us. Personal interaction (in person) is nicer than media-assisted interaction.
Day 5 - Thursday, June 28th, 2012
So, really starting to wonder what I'm missing on Facebook & Pinterest. Would LOVE to sit down and watch a movie tonight. I've found myself wandering around the house aimlessly. I'm officially completely addicted to clicking links on my computer. I spent most of the day adding thumbnail images to my blog since Ben helped make a few upgrades to allow images to show up with my latest posts, etc. So that fed my "click" addiction. But it was very apparent when I kept on clicking on....I like to click. I like my computer. I have a hard time knowing what to do on it without Facebook & Pinterest...which means I probably spend an OBSCENE amount of time at those two websites. Perhaps I need some sort of intervention...not just a week-long fast.
I find myself itching for Sunday. I'm ready to go into Verizon and get a new smart phone and data package and can't wait till Sunday to do it. So that then I can have Facebook & Pinterest at my fingertips all day, no matter where I am? I definitely have a problem!
The truth is, I can tell that I use those "media" outlets as a distraction, a way out of my own head and immediate surroundings. A way to avoid thinking about important things or dealing with something I don't want to deal with. It appears that I generally let those media outlets dictate what I think about or how I plan my day, because without them I feel a little lost, not sure where to turn next.
Day 6 - Friday, June 29th, 2012
Today I was cranky. It's a Friday thing...I'm always tired and cranky on Fridays. So are the kids. That meant when I went to the Rec and ran, without music, I was stuck in my cranky head. Not a fun place to be.
We spent the early afternoon at the mall while Ben gave blood at the blood drive. Funny how this 7 Weeks of Less made me completely un-phased by all the stores in the mall. It's entirely possible that there is nothing n that entire mall that is "needed". Talk about excess.
Day 7 - Saturday, June 30, 2012
Ironically, I've spent a good portion of today (my last day of no-media week) planning to buy a smart phone with a data package. I want one before my month-long trip north next week so I can stay connected for work while I'm away from my computer more than normal.
I'm also considering staying up till midnight to watch a movie and check Facebook.
Scratch that. I decided to watch a movie at 8pm and save my next Facebook/Pinterest check for Sunday afternoon - after church. Compromise. Still cheating, but it's a compromise.