Organize & Clean

Rebecca’s Cure: The Perks and Perils of a Media Fast

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Rebecca Bond)

“We’re having a media fast,” I announced. Once I had explained the words media and fast, my children set to shouting and complaining. “We don’t care! We’re watching telly!” Fortunately I had a giant box of Star Wars Lego and a Dora the Explorer jigsaw (both Christmas gifts) to distract them. My five-year old got on with building Rancor’s castle or pit or something, and my three-year old, with help from me, started her jigsaw. Easy. If they could do it, so could I.

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After all, I don’t watch much TV other than DVD box sets, and we have nothing on the go at the moment. We don’t own an X-box, DS or similar. I’m not on Twitter, and I rarely update my Facebook status. However, I do follow a lot of blogs, and I love a good pinning session, especially at the end of a stressful day.

Pinterest is the closest I get to a Zen-like meditative state — all those beautiful images of kitchens and gardens scrolling by. Click, click, pin, pin. I feel relaxed just thinking about it. But my inner Circadian clock does not agree. A few minutes in front of the computer late at night is worse than a double espresso for driving away sleep. I end up like one of those confused city birds tweeting on top of a lamp post all night, desperately tired but duped into thinking it’s day.

With computer, mobile and TV safely off, I poured myself a glass of Rioja and prepared to settle down in front of the fire with my kindle and some music. Except of course, I realized that was not really in the spirit of a true electronic media fast, so I pulled out a proper papery book (remember them?) and skipped the music.

It was a pleasant evening, I slept well (no pinterest-generated insomnia), and next morning I was in no hurry to turn my phone or computer back on. That is, until my brother rang on the landline to tell me his wife had given birth to a baby boy and ask why I hadn’t replied to his texts. I was ecstatic at the news, but a little gutted that I had missed the excitement of the buildup. And when I checked Facebook, I was the 114th to congratulate them. Surely an auntie should be in the top ten at least. But who cares! For these monumental life-changing events, social media is inadequate. You want to talk direct, and nothing will beat giving my brand new nephew a real life hug.

Rebecca’s January Cure: