Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Guilty, quiet moments

This is the point in Lent where either I've given things up and I don't miss them, or I've long since returned to old habits. While some old habits die hard, I'm surprised to find I don't miss reading blogs anymore. Even though I allowed myself time in the evenings to browse, fatigue usually prevented me. Or the overwhelming amount of posts that had accumulated. I'm just back from a visit out of town and the thought of catching up on everyone on my blogroll makes me want to turn in early.
In general I find, I've pulled back from most media. I love reading a Sunday paper but less than before. I don't even turn the TV onto the news or EWTN anymore. I still read the headlines online through out the day but they don't hold my attention the way blogs used to.
I remember as a teenager gawking in disbelief at a friend who had no TV. I was proud of my pop culture trivia knowledge gleaned from hours in front of MTV and I couldn't imagine carrying on an intelligent conversation about the issues of the day without television. Now, I can't imagine carrying on an intelligent conversation about anything that's on TV.
I think society needs more of a buffer from the media. Even in my self imposed cocoon, information sneaks in and crowds my thoughts, stealing time from more important matters. I mingle with people whose lives revolve around the gossip of the day and fictional characters. If it's not on TV or splashed across a magazine in the supermarket checkout, some people will never hear about it, which is sad since most of what matters is never mentioned in either location. Blogs are great for spreading information that never makes it in the mainstream media but it is easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of information.
There is a place for all types of media but to live fully in God's world, we must experience life directly, not through the printed word, photo, video or website. We cannot focus on the Lord's work when our thoughts, and conversations, are filled with gossip, violence and sex, because really what else do you see on TV everyday? Those PBS specials are few and far between. Even the nightly news is broadcast as entertainment more than hard journalism anymore. If a worthy subject is found, it is either beaten to death so people become sick of hearing of it or it isn't given enough coverage so people remain ignorant of the extent of the problem. Plus, you're hard pressed to find news that doesn't spin a story to suit someone's agenda.
I'm happy to have given most of it up. I almost feel guilty, like it's not really a Lenten sacrifice now. I would recommend to anyone to give up TV, newspapers, blogs, news, etc. for a week and see how you feel. Slowly introduce those mediums you missed the most back into your daily life. You're head might feel clearer and you might have some free time to read a good book, attend daily mass, pray or play outside with your kids. See if the Lord doesn't make you more productive or speak to you in those quiet moments when you are alone with your thoughts.