Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An Internet Fast

I've written about food fasts and verbal fasts. So what about an Internet fast? As a blogger, I realize that this idea goes against my own self-interest-- those who aren't on the Internet aren't going to be reading any blogs.

Yet, the value of fasting can apply to the Internet. There was a front page article in yesterday's New York Times about the dangers of too much of our time being occupied with smart phones, Blackberries, computers, and video games. Having the technology to be online for 24/7 can become an addiction to stimulation. This technology can control us rather than us controlling it.

The main danger this article pointed to was mental: we can become so distracted by multi-tasking that our ability to focus and complete tasks is diminished. We are literally being driven to distraction by all of the devices we have.

What are the possible benefits of an Internet fast? First, it can show us that we can live without all of these communication devices. Secondly, we can become aware of how much time the Internet is taking and how much stress it is causing. Thirdly, a fast can free up time to do some of those things that feed our souls: walking in a place of natural beauty, relaxing on a beach, playing a sport, or praying and meditating.

For the next 10 days, I will be taking an Internet fast due to a trip to Peru. Fasting will be easy for me because I won't have access to the Internet while hiking and camping on the Inca trail from Cusco to Machu Picchu. I won't be writing blogs during this time but will blog about this trip after I return. I guess I'll be taking a blog fast as well!

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