Fast Vacation

Sep 29, 2017
Meredith Whitmore

For the past week I’ve been looking for guinea pigs. No, pet rodents are not running around my house. I’m looking for people to help me with a study of sorts.
I wanted someone—whether an individual or a family—to do a media fast for, ideally, a month. That means no television, video games, social texting or networking, movies, or Internet usage beyond what is required for work or school.
Why am I doing this? Well, I was forced to go without media several times in several foreign countries, and the experience taught me a lot. Lack of Internet connection, TV, movies, and even electricity caused me to look elsewhere for entertainment, news and, at times, companionship. I learned so much about myself and God that I had to write about it.
I’ve tried to recruit people via social networking, face-to-face conversation, e-mail and phone calls. Everyone thinks it’s a fabulous idea. But no one is willing to do it. Even when I told them they could cut the fast in half—give up electronic media for just two weeks—I still didn’t get any takers.
I wonder why.
Yes, having no media access might feel strange, and maybe even isolating, at first. Yes, it could initially feel like an inconvenience. It might even cause boredom during the first couple of days. But aren’t a few digital hunger pangs worth it in order to learn about how media truly affects you in ways you’re not even aware as you’re swimming in it? Isn’t it OK to abstain for only 14 days to gain insight into your family dynamics or personal habits and, possibly, change t

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