Media Fast

No TV, no music, no texting, no movies, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Tumbler…

Sounds like teenage Hell!

Some teenagers might describe it as that, but about 100 kids at our church have opted to do this for 25 days. It’s a media fast that is preparing them for a missions trip they’ll take during Easter break.

The kids aren’t embarking on this fast alone; most the parents are doing the fast with their kids. Our house has committed to it, and it’s been a huge leap for us.

Ashley says she misses her music the most. Ashley usually begins the day with music, listens throughout the day, then after school, and as she goes to bed. It’s been pretty quiet in our house the last few days. But life without texting and Pinterest will probably also be pretty difficult for Ashley. (I have been thoroughly enjoying her NOT being glued to her phone the last few days!!!)

Alyssa is going to miss music the most, but it’s going to be a long 15-hour flight back from Uganda tomorrow with no movies, music, etc.

For me, I think I miss TV the most. Lori and I have a few shows we watch together at night as we unwind and get our mind off the day (we love the new show Guys with Kids). Music and texting won’t be difficult for me. I like them, but I won’t miss them. I still blog and Tweet for my ministry, but no browsing sites just for fun.

Lori will probably have the easiest time with this media fast. She doesn’t care if music is on, would probably rather read then look at a screen, and wouldn’t care if she never had to text someone again in her entire life!!!

If you’ve never tried a media fast, I really recommend it. They don’t work well if they’re forced. They work well if students choose to do them. Our youth pastor has built a momentum for years where kids have fasted and prayed in preparation for their mission trips. Each year he offers new challenges for those who opt to serve on these trips (back when we were airing our podcast, Andy shared in some of his training requirements and standards in Episode #16 if you’re curious). It’s amazing to see the sacrifices students are willing to make when the bar is set high.

Well… I’m off to read a book. (Oh man… I miss movies!)

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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2 Responses to Media Fast

  1. Coop says:

    You sir are a better man than I. I’ve done social media fasts (no more than a few days at a time) and have found them to be very healthy, but I haven’t ever gone cold turkey off all media for nearly that long!

  2. WICK says:

    I like the idea of such a fast as preparation for a Mission trip, especially. It’s always hard to have students transition out of the media world into a week without it. Thanks for writing about yours!!