Your Everyday Addict

Someone very close to me this week pointed out that I'm an addict; a media addict. They didn't use those exact words or that exact phrasing, but that was the point.

Being on the receiving end of any sort of criticism makes me really uncomfortable. I know that I'm my own worst critic, so if anyone ever brings up anything to me that could be taken as a critique, I'm usually not okay with it. I guess, in my mind, I figure that I am hard enough on myself...therefore I don't need anyone else to tell me what's wrong with me.

Thankfully, this particular time, I kept my cool. Maybe it was because I knew they were right, or maybe I was just too tired to fight back, but regardless, I sat, listened, and agreed.

My name is Jessica, and I am a media addict.

Until recently, I couldn't ride in the car without some sort of sound. I've gotten better about it now, but it still bugs me if all I can hear is the sound of the car engine. I read an average of 5 blogs a day. It's rare that I don't turn on the TV at night...or in the morning. There was a [not-so-distance] point in my life where I considered about 20 TV shows my "favorite shows" and kept up with them almost religiously. I subscribe to 4 podcasts, and a week doesn't go by that I don't listen to all of them. I listen to audiobooks regularly. I usually am reading at least two books at once. I've seen every movie out that I want to see that is in theaters right now. Out of all of the new music that is out, I have everything I want.

There's probably more media in my life than that...but I'll stop there so that this doesn't get embarrassing or anything :)

To be clear, I don't think that media is bad.

I love music. To me, it's one of the most tangible ways of expression and I love to listen to this audible art form. I don't listen to crappy bad music either, I listen to a lot of very inspirational music, a lot of worship music, and a lot of just plain good stuff.

I have really enjoyed getting into blogs over the last few years. I've learned a TON, and even started my own (obviously). I read blogs that are encouraging that that teach me things.

I really like TV. TV shows are probably my biggest downfall, but I try to be careful about what I watch. I have my "guilty pleasure" shows like the Bachelor/Bachelorette, and yes, I do keep up with the Kardashians, but the thing that brought me to watching those shows was community. When Jason was traveling a lot, my Monday nights were awesome because I always knew I'd be able to hang out with friends for a Bachelor/Bachelorette viewing party. And honestly, I'd never heard of Kim Kardashian until I started watching her show with a few of my sorority sisters after our chapter meetings on Sunday nights. Maybe those aren't real justifications anymore because I now watch these shows either alone or with my enthusiastic sweet husband, but regardless, my original intentions were good.

Podcasts are awesome. When I get up at 5:00 a.m. to walk, podcasts are part of the reason that I'm able to get out of bed. I listen to a lot of sermons and a lot of just really good content. I've learned A TON about the bible through podcasts, I've learned about new authors that I now really like and have learned from, and I always finish a podcast encouraged.

Audiobooks and regular books have made a suprising comeback in my life over the last year or so. I used to love reading fiction, and I still do, but I've really come to love nonfiction books too. Lately I've been reading a lot of books that have helped me grow into this new stage of life - being a working wife. I've learned a lot about biblical womanhood, marriage that is grounded in the gospel, and how to really dwell where God has me.

So, as you can see, the media that I'm absorbing is not bad. But when I put it all together and think of the hours and hours I spend sitting in front of the TV or sitting and reading a blog or a book, I can't help but thing that media has become an idol in my life.

My life has come to revolve around these things. When I think of my life without cable or without podcasts at my fingertips, I get really sad - and I almost start to feel anxiety. That's how I know this isn't healthy.

As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10, "'All things are lawful,' but not all things are helpful. 'All things are lawful,' but not all things build up." Even though I'm not doing anything wrong by watching TV, reading a blog, or listening to music, it's important for me to recognize that it's also not always helpful either. Since I'm taking in so many messages and so much content on a day to day basis, I realize that it leaves little time for me to either think for myself or just spend time resting in God. 

What is something in your life that your addicted to? 

We all have idols, so let's take action against them.

Tomorrow I'm going to spend a day in silence. I'm not going to be silent, but going to silence my media. I'm going to challenge myself and not listen to a podcast on my walk. I'm not going to listen to music in my car. I'm not going to turn on the TV. I'm just going to be. I'm going to be with myself and those around me without an distractions and see how God uses that time. The goal is to be more conscience of what I'm missing because my brain is always engaged in something else.

If you're someone who makes any sort of media (or maybe social media?) an idol in your life, won't you join me in a day of silence?
I just searched through my Facebook photos to see if there was a picture of me with
headphones in or something. I found this...from our honeymoon. I'm seriously kicking
myself for not taking advantage of all of the quality time with Jason!
Also, how awesome is the attire of the lady walking behind me? Just sayin'...




   photo jessicasgiffile_zpsed8f17dc.gif