On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, I participated in my first ever “Media Fast.” A Media Fast is a period of time spent disengaged from all types of media, including things such as computers, television, newspapers, magazines, cell phones, or radio. I tried to ignore any medium that distributed information to the masses. However, in this modern culture, I found it extremely difficult to completely isolate myself from the influences of media. For example, I take notes on my laptop for some of my classes and sometimes I download the lectures used in those classes. Accessing my laptop and downloading those lectures was a form of media consumption.
I also found it very difficult to fight the urge to use my cell phone. My cell phone is the fastest, easiest and most used method of communication for me. Conversely, it is the medium that most people use to communicate with me. I decided to turn my phone off for this time period because that was a simple way to disengage myself from media. I found that even though I was content only communicating with others face-to-face, I missed out on a lot of communication through my cell phone, such as missed text messages, a few unread emails, and a missed call. I hadn’t known before this that I used my cell phone as such a primary means of communication.
Overall, what I learned from this experience is that it is extremely difficult to completely isolate oneself from the influences of mass media in this modern society. Our lives are so saturated in the media, especially social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, that avoiding them is like ignoring a whole thriving facet of culture.
This leads me to wonder about the difference between being “in the world” verses being “of the world.” As Christians, we are told to be in the world but not be of the world. Does this mean Christians shouldn’t engage in mass media (or at least attempt to avoid it) in an attempt to not be “of the world”? Where do we draw the line? Should we draw a line?