For our anniversary this past August, my husband and I gifted one another with a week-long digital media fast - no Facebook, Twitter, Candy Crush, inflammatory news, etc. We were able to focus more time and energy on one another and it was heavenly! So refreshing, in fact, that I found it harder than I expected to re-enter the digital screen-i-verse!
I struggle to find that delicate balance between staying engaged enough to be socially responsible but not overly engaged so as to drown in the onslaught of information and emotion. It is hard not to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water and just completely disengage from it all. Is it possible to enjoy a balanced digital diet - to maintain healthy on-line connections and limit the negativity?
To this end, I have been slowly and prayerfully developing a list of "Digital Disciplines" that I hope can help me find this balance. So, for the next month, I am going to give these 5 Digital Disciplines a try and pray that they will help me stay spiritually centered as well as socially engaged.
Remember God - The image of God dwells in me and in every single person I interact with online or in person. Look for it! Act like it!
Pray Daily - Every day I will pray through the headlines of a trusted news source (for me it is NPR). After reading the morning headlines, I will not check the news again and again throughout the day. Once is enough.
Act Weekly - Once a week I will take at least one tangible action toward making a difference in the world ... that may mean donating time or resources to a cause I support, volunteering at the local prison, writing a letter to my senator, attending a social action event, or picking up garbage when I walk my dog at the park.
Restrict Check-ins - I will only check Facebook once a day (not on and off ALL day long!) as part of my morning prayer time. Again, once is enough.
Keep it Tangible - For every minute spent playing Candy Crush, I will spend at least a minute coloring (or singing, cooking, gardening, etc) as I seek to balance virtual and tangible play.
What would you add or adjust on this list of digital disciplines? What would a healthy, balanced digital diet look like for you? I'd love to know what you come up with. Seriously, let me know what works well for you and where you struggle!. One of the blessings of digital media is the way we can connect and encourage one another across the miles.
Be encouraged, my friends! By the grace of God, may we find balance, love and respect for one another as equally beloved children of God - whether in-person or on-line.