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Our Journey To Simplicity: Part 13 – Media

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So… you know how God worked in each chapter of this book for me? How He ended my meal sharing deal during the same week I was reading about the meal challenge? I was just eliminating media distractions in my life when I reached that chapter. I would like to give Him a high five.

PHONE

There were 2 ways I knew that limiting media was a chapter I needed to read and participate in.

1. I have always had an unlimited data plan on my cell phone when we changed plans. Then suddenly I was receiving texts from my cell phone provider saying I was reaching my data limit after a very short amount of time. Two days later…

2. I dropped my phone in the toilet. My 6 week old, brand new iPhone 6. I get it that being materialistic is a waste of time. Lesson learned.

I only missed my phone on the day it was drying in a rice bag because I wanted to check the weather, check the time, and take a picture. I realized the next day, when I had several texts from the day before, that I didn’t miss being so available to the world. Not at all! It was a nice break. And I’m a part time extravert!

A while after my phone was back in action, my battery was dying quickly. Not knowing exactly what was causing that, I deleted my Facebook app. Best. Decision. Ever. Not having notifications pop up all the time because someone comments on something, or someone sends me a private message, is so freeing! Sometimes I hear other people’s notifications go off and I am not jealous in the least. My notifications will be waiting for me when I log in to Facebook. In fact, I have all of my notifications set up that way. Nothing bothers me!

I have my Do Not Disturb set for 10 hours at night. I usually have an hour on either side of when I normally sleep so that I am not getting texts for the hour before bed, and it’s so nice to not have to look at them before I’ve been up a full hour. And it’s REALLY nice to not be woken up by a vibrating phone. My texts are still there in the morning.

 

TELEVISION

We got to a point with our TV that we were only watching our shows on DVR. Live evening television with kids with bedtimes became a thing of the past. We decided to get rid of our satellite subscription. It was hard at first to get used to the way Dave rigged things up when I was used to the same television set up for 6 years. It was a new thing to wait for shows to be available online. Although hard at first, I grew to love our new setup.

Hi my name is Cassi and I have been satellite free for 7 months! We now only watch what we want to watch and we don’t have near as many choices to make. I’m aware that there are still the same amount of shows on TV as there were 7 months ago, but we don’t see the ads for them!  We don’t know what amazing, high-quality shows we don’t get to see! Ignorance is bliss.

Other perks for us are the effects on the kids. The girls don’t have a million shows to choose between. They basically watch PBS now, or we have a few shows downloaded. Nothing near the amount of choices we had before. They don’t have as many shows to ask for that way. Overall, they watch a lot of repeats.

They don’t get the commercials. I remember when Adelynn would tell me she wanted things from commercials to be added to her Christmas list or Birthday list – multiple times per day. Man did that get OLD! Basically the only commercials they see anymore are for PBS.

 

DISTRACTIONS

My phone connects to my car with blue tooth. Somehow a system update came through that didn’t work all the way. Dave knows the specifics, but all I know is I am thankful. My phone still rings through the car, but it no longer notifies me of texts while I am driving. That was such a distraction for me to hear them come in and see them pop up on the screen. Dave’s car works like it is supposed to, so when I drive that, it throws me off to see the messages pop up.

Speaking of car distractions, I am thankful for no longer having satellite radio in my car. I do miss the music, but when you set it to notify you if certain artists/songs come on, and then it does, it’s a distraction to hear it and look to see what it says. I usually do tune to the station it suggests, but I end up looking away from the road longer than I intend to when I am pushing the button. The other day it notified me that Maroon 5 was playing. Right after I tuned to it, it popped up to say that Ed Sheeran was playing! What’s a girl to do?! Life is easier with less decisions – as we have covered!

I have been trying to live intentionally about my phone. Most of the time, it it sitting out of reach, or in my pocket on silent. It used to always be in my pocket or very nearby with the sound on. How many times have you told yourself you were going to have quiet time and got sucked into Instagram when you went to pull up your devotional app? It was happening to me far too often. In fact, it still happens to me. I intend to get on my phone to check my email and see I missed a call… so I check my voicemail and completely forget about my email. Yeah, hard life. So I have been working more to only check my phone about once an hour. So if you ever have a text conversation with me followed by a long lull, it’s not because I was bored by you, it’s because other things needed my attention and I spent enough time on my phone.

 

THE BABYSITTER

I am as guilty as anyone who lets their kids play with their phone. I have given my phone to my kids in the cart who are on an extra long shopping trip. I have given my phone to my kids while we wait at the doctor’s office. Adelynn uses some of her screen time some days to play on the iPad. However. Yesterday I took Ava to the doctor and we waited in the office for the doctor for half an hour. We read books and found other sources of entertainment. Adelynn didn’t even ask for a very long time to play with it! It really only triggers their memory and their desire to play with it if they see me using it while we are waiting for something. I also try not to pull it out because I am bored. I think as soon as you limit it as a distraction for yourself, your kids will follow suit.

Kids are pretty quick to pick up on things! Dave and I spend less time in front of the TV. The girls do too! They know we can record it and watch it anytime, so they don’t make a big deal about staying firmly planted in front of the show.

 

If Media is a distraction in your life, give me some ideas on how you keep it at bay!

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