My 12 New Things

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Thing #8- July 2010- Media Cleanse

It's finally over. For New Thing #8, I conducted a ten day Media Cleanse in which my rules included no television, movies, social media or flipping through magazines. I also couldn't do any aimless internet surfing. If I went online, I had to have a purpose in mind and I had to get in and get out.

The point was that I had been wasting too much time in mindless activities.

I would sometimes get online to check a couple of things and 2 hours later will realize that I forgot what I had initially been looking for. I would get swept away on Facebook or Twitter, wondering what was going on in the world (aka what my friends are up to). It's never really interesting. I don't need to know that someone just harvested truffles in Farmville or that someone else worked all weekend.

News headlines are a big time-wasting culprit, too, and the astonishing thing is that it's not the important stuff that I would spend my time on. Right before deciding to do a Media Cleanse as a New Thing, I found myself at the end of an article and scratching my head as to why I was there at all. The headline I had followed was called "Why the beard, Brad?"

I did, indeed, want to know "why the beard, Brad?" But is it important? Is it really relevant to my life? No. It's not even important or relevant to his life, apparently, because the answer to that question was that he was bored, so he had decided to grow a beard and put weird little beads in it. And I wasted my time reading about it. And you just did, too. :) The mindlessness needed to stop.

And it did. For 10 full days. (Mostly).

I did have a rough go of it a couple nights ago. I was stressed and tired and wanted to lay on the couch and watch tv. But, I knew if I did, I would hate myself in the morning. So I did what I always do when I don't want to hate myself in the morning. I called my mom to talk me down. It worked and the crisis was averted.

I have to admit, though, that last night I did go a little crazy. It was a little reminiscent of my Pepsi and Doritos incident during my Kind Diet (New Thing #2- February). I knew I was on the home stretch, but just couldn't take it anymore. All of the productivity and mindfulness of the previous nine days got the best of me and I threw all caution to the wind. I laid on the couch and watched Kathy Griffin- My Life on the D-List AND I perused At that same time. Shocking, I know. I'm not even ashamed, though I know I should be.

This was an excellent New Thing to have subjected myself to even though it sucked most of the time. I learned that I can in fact survive without social media, television and other mindless forms of entertainment. I got a lot of great things knocked off my to-do list. (Though I'm only a few things shy of completing my Christmas shopping I didn't get that stupid recipe conversion done. I'm not worried about it, though. There will be plenty of winter months in which that project will sound appealing).

While I won't be continuing on in a media-free state, I will be limiting my screen time significantly moving forward and will be much more mindful of how I spend my time.

I'm now signing off to go steam clean my carpets. Ciao!

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