Media, Introverts, and Energy

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It’s Media Week!

We’re in the midst of a media fast this week. I know. Here I am. Writing a blog post.

Each of us chose a different form of fasting. I chose to limit myself to one hour a day. So blogging today will take up 30 minutes or so. I spent part of my time writing “old school” with paper and pen. But, truth be told, I usually write with paper and pen. I find it difficult to think while typing.

So far, I am discovering that less media intake has increased my energy levels. Weird.

As an introvert, I gain energy by thinking, reflecting, and spending time alone. And I spend energy when I am with people. I always speculated that social media had little effect on my energy levels because I was only indirectly connecting with people. Instead, I have discovered that social media requires almost an equal amount of energy as if I was spending it directly with people.

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My discovery leaves me with a need to re-evaluate social media use for myself. If both social media and face-to-face interaction require the same amount of energy, then which one offers more benefits? And is that even the right question to ask? Is there a better question?

Could I realistically meet with people multiple times a week? What am I trying to accomplish with social media? What am I trying to accomplish when I meet with people for coffee or lunch or in their homes?

This media fast has left me with many questions that I do need to reflect upon. If I’m simply using media to fill empty space, then perhaps there is a better way. However, I can also see the benefits of media, like sharing these thoughts with a much larger audience.

We are halfway through our media fast and there will probably be more revelations. But this much I see, connecting with people requires energy and participation.

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Mutiny Week 4: Media

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It’s a 24/7 world, friends! This week? We’re going off-line.

Ugh. I did not think this through very well. Our group has been meeting online to encourage and challenge one another. Hmm. How to do this week well?

 

In Jen Hatmaker’s book, her family “shut down” seven screens…for a month! They eliminated TV, gaming, Social Media (whatever forms you use), apps, radio, texting, and internet. No Netflix. No Hulu. No Amazon Prime video. They did use texting for work/emergency issues. And they limited their internet to specifically work/school related stuff. No Google rabbit holes.

We are a connected society. But, in many ways, it has left us less connected. Let’s use this week to think of alternative ways to connect. It would be a good time to invite someone for coffee or meet someone for a bagel. Read a book. Take a walk. Visit a (free) museum.

So here are your options:

Option One: Eliminate 7 “screens”. You decide which ones and post them.

Option Two: Allow yourself 7 hours of connected time. Maybe an hour a day?

Option Three: Limit yourself to 1 media option for the week. You might still consider a time limit. I don’t think anyone would benefit from 8 hours a day on Facebook.

Option Four: Dedicate 7 waking hours a day to no screens. That means, no social media breaks for 7 hours, no radio/tv, no internet.

Now, how to keep you informed. I will list the reflection questions below. I will also post them in our Facebook group using Hootsuite. (Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts without accessing the app itself) You can answer the questions based on the option you choose. Post your option before Sunday night so we know what to expect. We will be cheering you on!

Screens to consider

TV, radio, podcasts, audiobooks, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Pandora, Spotify, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, texting, email, blogs (except this one of course 🙂 ) etc.

Monday: Read 2 Corinthians 10:2-5. How does media intake affect your thoughts?

Tuesday: Which affects you more; the content of your media or the quantity of your media?

Wednesday: What positive effects do you see from media?

Thursday: Do you ever experience input overload? How does this manifest itself in your life?

Friday: What has been the hardest part of this week?

Saturday: What has been the best part of this week?

Sunday: Share one good thing in our Facebook group!

You can do this! I believe in you!

Love Your Neighbor. Love Your Enemies. Love Your Mama.

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I am currently preaching through a sermon series from the Gospel of Luke. On a recent read-thru, I noticed that Jesus is reckless in this Gospel. Luke paints a picture of Jesus that is both tender and direct. Most of us miss it because we get all caught up in chapter two and baby Jesus all cute and chubby-cheeked. But then Jesus grows up.

But then Jesus grows up

By the time we wander over to chapter six, Jesus is laying down some new grounds rules. And we read some of the most quoted words of Jesus.

Love your enemies…Do not judge…Do unto others…

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We whip these phrases around like its nobody’s business. But do we really stop to ponder what Jesus is truly saying?

Jesus bolts straight out of the gate with “love your enemies”. Forget your neighbor or your mama. He doesn’t address these issues until chapter fifteen! Here it is. If we can get the “love your enemy” part right, then the rest is easy. If you could do this, then you would be winning at life far beyond 80% of the rest of the Christians in our country

I think I heard a few Amens.

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I will tell you that these are the most difficult words of Jesus to live out. Let’s read it again.

Jesus said:

  1. Love your ENEMIES
  2. Love YOUR enemies
  3. LOVE your enemies

Not your friend. Not your neighbor’s enemy. Love, not tolerate.

The. Hardest. Words.

Who are your enemies? Is there hatred in your heart toward a person or group of people? Then Jesus wants you to start there.

What about your enemies? Not the people that your coworker hates, but the ones you hate. Do you have trouble loving them? I don’t mean tolerating their presence. I mean, are you able to be nice to them? Are you able to sit at the table and dine with them? Do you pray for them?

Jesus wants us to treat them…the ones we call enemies…to treat them the same way we would want to be treated. Hmm. I’m still working on it, too.

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What if we start here?

Let’s identify one of our enemies. Then let’s ask God how we could do good to those who hurt us. If you’re brave enough to start there, then let’s ask God to help us pray for them.

We are disciples. Most of us are asleep in a recliner of Christianity. Today we can start this journey with Jesus. It is most certainly hard. But it is most certainly the better way.

No one ever became poor by giving. – Anne Frank