More faces. More books.

Photo by evgenyatamanenko/iStock / Getty Images

On Saturday, I did a media cleanse.  A media cleanse is something I made up.  A “cleanse” is more commonly associated as a method of food elimination and intestinal, uh, stimulation.  Merriam-Webster defines the word cleanse as “a very restrictive short-term diet primarily intended to remove toxins from the body”.

My scope of the media cleanse was the elimination of news and social media for a calendar day.  I did it the weekend before the election to keep my sanity.  At that time, it was mostly elimination from Facebook and Twitter, i.e. social media.  Since then, I have become a subscriber to the New York Times and have easy access via my iPad.  I find myself binging on news and social media when I get home after work.  When it started to creep into my workday, I did a call for accountability partners to join me in a media free day.

Saturday wasn’t difficult.  I spend less time on my phone than the average person.  I did miss news.  The response to President Trump’s one hour and 17 minute news conference, the death of Norma McCorvey – “Jane Roe” in “Roe v. Wade”, and photos of how fellow Iowans seized the February 18, 2017, 72 degree day.

Today, I went to church and Pastor Jon quoted a New Year’s Resolution of a friend – “Less Facebook and more Faces and Books”.  Yes!  My time spent on the media is better spent on more faces and more books. 

On Saturday, I spent more time on faces:
Husband
Son
Neighbors
Barista

On Saturday, I spent more time on books:
Dreamland (print)
The Gifts of Imperfection (audio)

This afternoon, as I reflected on the concept of more faces and more books, I daydreamed of things I enjoy.

More faces: booking the summer weekend with my sister, scheduling drinks with a girlfriend, going on a retreat with my husband.

More books: scrapbooking, bloging (online journaling), physical journaling, coloring books.

These get me so excited that I want to do a 30-day media cleanse and see what happens. 

What would happen?  Can I get past the responsible voice in my head that says “you need to be informed on the news and get active in causes you believe in!”  Can I get past the voice in my head that says “you need to take a lunch (mental) break from life and Twitter is a great way to do it.”

I constantly seek the holy grail of work/life/family/health/self balance.  To strike this unwinnable balance, I usually set boundaries on other people to protect myself.  “More faces and more books” seems like setting boundaries on myself to protect myself.  By spending less time on Facebook, it protects me from people’s opinion, advertiser’s priorities, political trolling and most importantly, my own ego. 

Who are the faces you want to see and the books you want to read?