Have you tried fasting from social media? Streaming? Apps? Have you noticed any changes in yourself after fasting from digital? Or– have you noticed changes in your children or your spouse or friends? Here’s what I discovered after I fasted from digital each Friday during Lent.
I discovered that I became more aware of the people around me and drawn to interact with them more than usual. I was generally more interested in speaking with others, even if it was for only a few moments. This is probably related to our human need to connect with others and if we can’t meet that need on digital platforms, we will find ways to connect in real ways with real people around us.
I discovered that I didn’t need to know news as it happened or even the day it happened. My world didn’t shatter because I wasn’t up to date with news.
I discovered instant messaging didn’t need my instant attention. My “What’s App” group would be fine with waiting a day for my response. “If it’s truly urgent,” I said to myself, “someone will call me.”
I discovered time to pray the Stations of the Cross, read a book about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, have in-depth conversations with my husband just for fun, and call an old friend to share sweet memories.
I discovered grace-filled moments that I could have easily missed.
The point of this series is not to give up on YouTube and text messaging or to go back in time before the invention of Facebook, robots, and smart watches. The point is that we should never let technology interfere with the great gifts God freely gives us – gifts of love, friendship, faith and family.
To do this, we need to protect ourselves and others from addictive habits that fill our lives with a whole lot of emptiness.
Our sacred calling is to live boldly in this brave new world without losing who we are and whose we are. We are called to live healthy habits and holy virtues that make space for grace. When we open our hearts and minds to God and to those whom God has placed in our lives, we’ll be able to discover the gifts He has in store for each one of us.
-Teresa Peterson, Making Space for Grace