How is Media Affecting Us? (Final Media Monday)

 

Today the 8 week series titled Media Mondays comes to an end. The question I sought to answer in this series was:

How is social media and this digital world of ipads, iphones and ipods affecting our relationship with God, our marriages, our parenting, our homemaking, our friendships and our health?

8 weeks ago – we started here with these thoughts:

 Tim Challies, the author of The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion, writes:

“Our lives have become saturated with sounds and images flashing in front of our eyes, blaring into our ears…At work we spend forty hours staring at computer screens. at home we watch television or visit our favorite websites. Between work and home we check our route on the GPS and dash off a few text messages. Even at church we watch our pastors on screens before returning home to watch sermons on the Internet. Life is mediated by the screen.” p.89

Here are the links to the week by week posts if you missed one:

Media and Our Walk with God

Media and Our Marriages

Media and Our Parenting – Part 1

Media and Our Parenting – Part 2

Media and Our Homemaking

Media and Our Friendships

 Media and Our Health

The reality is times have changed. Jesus lived in a different context than we do. Never before have women carried access to all the world’s knowledge on a tiny device in our purse! Screens are everywhere – at church, work, gyms, in my homeschool room, on airplanes, in the car, and in our pockets. Twitter, Facebook, Blogging and Youtube have become the new front porch affecting all of our friendships. In 60 years, we’ve gone from zero screen time to an omnipresent screen – they are everywhere and we don’t even notice them! There has been a massive pace change in the last 100 years.  It is affecting us! 

There are a few areas I never addressed in this series, that are affecting us:

1. Privacy - The use of social media has affected everyone’s privacy.  I’ve even seen private emails (of a well-known pastor I adore) leak into the hands of the wrong people and posted publically on-line to be used to harm him.  It made me realize that every email I send must be filtered through God’s word…and be potentially ready to be made public. 

2.  Photos – I have a cabinet full of photos that I’ve slipped into albums and into scrapbooks 5 years ago…but my photos from the last three years have remained jpegs.  Our digital cameras are able to take so many shots that it’s hard to keep up with the plethora of photos we are taking.  But the quality of our photos and the way we can tweak them with photoshop and other applications is truly amazing!  Never before have images been so rich for the eyes and again so public!

3. Creativity is at an all time high.  All you have to do is spend 10 minutes on youtube and you’ll see exactly what I mean!   I know that I may have never taken up writing if blogging did not make it so easy for me to get my thoughts out.  I’ve journaled since I was 15 years old and I have a feeling I’d still be journaling all my thoughts, for no one to see, if it weren’t for social media.

 

Media is amoral – it is neither good nor bad – rather it is the use of it that determines its morality.   We must filter it through God’s word and come to our keyboards ready to glorify God with every word we read or write.  We must remember – no matter what era we live in or how our culture changes:

 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

 

 So let’s get our final discussion of Media started.

What are your final thoughts or conclusions on this series and what can you add to the list – how else is social media affecting us?

1. If you are a blogger and you have decided to join this series by blogging each week, please place the Media Mondays button somewhere on your blog so your readers can find us here and then link-up below (right click – “save as” the button).

2. If you are not a blogger but are on Facebook or Twitter, I want to encourage you to copy and paste this link from the browser above on your status update and ask your friends for their thoughts.

 

3. If you have thoughts or questions you want me to address in this series, please leave a comment above. I will try to answer as many as I can either during the series or in the comment section.

Walk with the King!

Media and Our Health

Let me be honest…either I’m getting old and my metabolism hit the brakes this year or blogging is causing turbo weight gain!!!  Here’s the deal – I started blogging 3 years ago and in those 3 years of blogging I have put on 20 pounds!  I can only conclude that blogging is not physically healthy – nor is hanging out on Facebook and twitter all evening long!

Years back I shared my struggles with my weight.  Some of you may look at my pictures and videos and think I have a screw loose for worrying about my weight…but I come from a family of thin people and I am the only one who ever seems to have trouble with her weight!!   So 3 weeks ago Janelle from Comfy in The Kitchen,  invited me to join Weight Watchers On-line with her.  I entered in my height and weight – and indeed even Weight Watchers told me – I was one pound from being considered over weight!  I’m not trying to be as thin as my sisters – I’d have to lose over 30 pounds to do that…and I understand that I was not created to be like them – I am me.  BUT I would like to fit in my clothes in my closet and stop the weight gain before it does become a real problem health wise.

 So I turned to my real life friend and now blogger – Clare from Peak 313 Fitness and asked her to write on the topic of Media and Our Health (and you must check out her new “Deskie Workout!”).  Clare writes:

Is media affecting our health? The answer is a resounding YES!!!  Adults and children spend over 70% of their waking day at a desk, in a car, on the computer etc. We sit down to read our emails. We sit down to browse the web. We sit down to write our blogs.There is even a new science of “sedentary behavior” or “inactivity physiology”. There are people who actually study this for a living!

Here are some common ways media is affecting our health:

1.) Lower Back/Neck/Wrist Pain: Whether it’s an uncomfortable office chair, a computer monitor that’s at the wrong height, or hours of punching in numbers at the computer, we are BOUND to get pain while sitting at a desk. I know many people who have had to get intense therapy for the damage sitting has done for them. Carpel tunnel was a syndrome none of us spoke of 15 years ago and now we have people getting surgery to correct it all the time. Our posture gets worse as the day wears on and all that takes it’s toll on our joints.

2.) Exhaustion: If there’s one thing I’ve learned since blogging it’s that it’s HARD to shut down at night. I’m always looking at “just one more thing.” Experts say that we should shut down all media ONE HOUR before we hit the sack. That gives our body enough downtime to prepare for rest. So whether you’re hopped up on some blog you just read or just hitting the sack 2 hours later than you planned, we are not getting enough sleep.

3.) Weight Gain: We’re sitting. We’re eating. We’re drinking. We’re skipping our workout. And we wonder why last year’s jeans are too tight. One of my favorite sayings is “Objects in motion stay in motion. ” Unfortunately, there’s nothing “motion” about sitting in front of a computer or tv and we end up seated for longer than we plan.

4.) Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) This is the scariest one of all yet the one that no one probably thinks about. Studies show that people who sit for more than six hours a day are 18% to 37% more likely to die of diabetes, heart disease, or other causes than those who sit for less than three hours a day. Let me give you a little science into this.

We have an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL) in cells that line our capillaries. This enzyme is important because it grabs fats out of the bloodstream and moves them to the muscles or to fat cells for storage and fuel. After just a few hours of not standing, LPL basically turns off. With LPL suppressed by sitting, harmful triglycerides (fats) build up in our bloodstream, and good HDL cholesterol levels drop (HDL-C is the “clean up” crew for your body). This all elevates your risk for cardiovascular disease.

These 4 areas still affects the person who gets their daily exercise in and those who are of normal weight, so NO ONE is exempt.

♥♥♥

Here are some practical ways to seamlessly make changes to your health:

1.) Set a timer. Every 20 -30 minutes get up and walk to the restroom. Stand up. Stretch. A timer is also handy in keeping you aware that you need to shut down for the night. :)

2.) Stretch. Roll your head forward and side to side. Reach your hands behind you and above you. Stand up and reach down to your toes. Circle your wrists and ankles one way and then the other. Keep the body loose and moving as much as you can.

3.) Small steps. When possible, stand during a phone call. Stand while at the computer. Dance a little jig. Get up at commercials. Everything counts!

4.) This workout. I have created 2 workouts with you in mind! This should not replace your usual routine. Even if you can only do bits and pieces of these in small segments, something is better than nothing. Do the routine all in one sitting or set a timer and do a few exercises here and there. Click here to see my NEW Deskie Workout I’ve created(these pictures were taken at Courtney’s house)!

One final thing. There is a difference between fidgeting and standing up. Fidgeting (which yes you can do while sitting) will help a little with your waistline and calories burned, however, in order to help fight against CVD, we must stand up (and move if possible)!

**********************************************

Thank you Clare for your insight!  I always love having Clare into my home to teach me new fitness tricks :)!   Let’s take care of our bodies-  our temples – so we can serve our mighty God with vigor and strength. 

Now it’s your turn!  Tell me – how has media affected your health?

1. If you are a blogger and you have decided to join this series by blogging each week, please place the Media Mondays button somewhere on your blog so your readers can find us here and then link-up below. (if for some reason the code is not working for you – please – right click – save as – the Media Mondays button and link it to this post)

2.If you are not a blogger, join the discussion in the comment section! I look foward to hearing your thoughts.

3. If you use Facebook or Twitter, I want to encourage you to copy and paste this link from the browser on your status update and ask your friends to join the discussion.

Walk with the King!

 

Social Media and Our Friendships


I LOVE social media because I love to be social!   I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know many of my friends in new ways through their daily status updates, links to things they find interesting, verses they post, pictures from their daily life and interaction in my comments.  I have connected with strangers on Facebook and Twitter, and those strangers – turned friends - have become real life meaningful friendships off-line!  I  LOVE that!

 To be honest, it has nearly eliminated all my phone time in the home.  If I have something to say to a friend, I hop onto Facebook and Twitter to “chat”.  I miss my friends who are not on Facebook (but respect their reasons) simply because I feel like I have less access to them.  I have to remember to be sensitive to their feelings of being “left out”.   I have gotten closer to some of my acquaintances who are regulars on Facebook and Twitter – cause that’s where I hang out when I need a break from cleaning, homeschooling or parenting lol!


But it comes with some dangers.

1.   Hurt feelings – I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve read a comment and have thought “What does she mean?  Is she mad at me?  Is she joking around?  Am I being too sensitive?”  Facebook comments are dangerous – beware and think before you type!  I am sure that I am guilty of this too!  Proverbs 26:18,19 says  “Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”  Beware of comments that are sarcastic – you could lose a friendship over it!


2.  Judging
- I have friends who have quit Facebook because they struggled with the status updates of friends who they thought lived one way but they discovered lived a very different way.  This is where sin and matters of liberty and conscience come into play.  We must call sin - sin but give grace to our friends on matters of liberty.  I will admit that when I see a swear word pop up – it mars my dear friend!  Oh and those bikini photos – I’ll never understand…do you see how ugly those thoughts are that ooze so easily out of me.  I must admit - I struggle at times.  I have to continually consider – is it worth confronting or will I let it go – let it completely go.  I am not on Facebook to be everyones Holy Spirit!  That’s a really quick friendship killer!  Which Satan thoroughly enjoys!  John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Satan would love to use social media to destroy our friendships – but Jesus came to give us an abundant life.  Do not let sinful judgement of friends destroy your friendships.  Remember, we are all human on the journey toward sanctification and we are all in different places on our journey.


3.  Public embarrassment -
I will raise my hand first and say I’ve embarrassed myself publically on many occassions because of my loose lips.  In the moment, a status update or comment feels right – but sometimes the next day I wonder – what in the world was I thinking?  Words carry power – and I feel like it’s been a learning and maturing process on what to say publically and what not to say publically.  Proverbs 10:19 says “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”


4.  Jealousy –
The comparison trap is just that – a trap!   Pictures of vacations, new homes, new cars, or fun nights out with friends are a breeding ground for jealousy.  There are two sides to this coin.  First there’s the person putting the information out there.  Is it wrong to show your vacation or fun night out?  NO…but can we be sensitive to those who weren’t invited or who can’t afford a vacation this year.  We don’t have to post every picture or every night out.  Philippians 2:4 says ” Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  This is one reason why I did not post my pictures from our Myrtle Beach trip or Willliamsburg trip this year on the blog.  I want to be sensitive to the fact that not everyone will be happy to see those pictures. 

On the flip side, jealousy is all throughout the Bible and we see how deadly it is to all friendships.  Remember Cain and Abel, Joseph and the coat of many colors, Haman and Mordecai, Sarah and Hagar, Saul and David,  the Pharisees and Jesus.  These are just to name a few, if we looked into it further we’d find many more relationships in the Bible that were ruined by jealousy.  Jealousy comes when we take our eyes off of Jesus. 

When I feel discouraged by things happening in the social media world I always come to a point of realizing…I have taken my eyes off of Jesus.  Hebrews 12:2,3 are some of my FAVORITE verses and they say, “Let us  fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Who for the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”


5.  Inappropriate Relationships with men. 
I am in NO way suggesting that women cannot have healthy relationships with men.  But for me – (again I am just saying this as my personal conviction) I have decided to not have friends on facebook who are male.  I wrote an entire blog post here about this decision if you are interested.

One rule of thumb I follow for the words I type on the internet is this:

If your pastor put all the words you said on-line this week, up on a screen for your entire church to view…is there anything you’d be embarrassed of?  If something comes to mind…delete it…and remember Proverbs  10:19 “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”

Social Media has GREATLY impacted my women friendships.    We were created for relationship.  God created Eve because it was not good for Adam to be alone.  Outside of our husbands, we long for deeper friendships with women but sin has entered our relationships simply because we are all sinners.   Some women hide behind the computer and chat all day on-line but never make real life friendships.  I do it the opposite way.  I take my on-line friendships and go deeper with them by having women into my home for bible study, creating Good Morning Girls groups where we email each other daily about the deeper things of God, I skype my on-line friends who are too far away to get together.  I pursue real life friendship through Girls Night Outs and playdates in my home.  My life is fuller because of my women friendships.  I encourage you to pursue taking your on-line friendships off-line.

Now it’s your turn – tell me – how has social media affected your friendships?

1. If you are a blogger and you have decided to join this series by blogging each week, please place the Media Mondays button somewhere on your blog so your readers can find us here and then link-up below. (if for some reason the code is not working for you – please – right click – save as – the Media Mondays button and link it to this post)

2.If you are not a blogger, join the discussion in the comment section! I look foward to hearing your thoughts.

3. If you use Facebook or Twitter, I want to encourage you to copy and paste this link from the browser on your status update and ask your friends to join the discussion.

Walk with the King!

Media and Your Homemaking – Times Have Changed!

 

Do you remember when women used to have to butcher and pluck their own chickens?  Me neither!!!

All my life chicken has come in a plastic wrapped package – ready for seasoning and the oven!  Or even better - I can buy rotisserie chickens cooked and ready to serve!  It’s wonderful!  But our great grandmothers did it a bit differently!

My grandmother explained to me,  a chicken in a box used to be delivered by a local farmer to her mother.  Her mother would put the chicken between her legs (and for anyone who is squeemish skip this next phrase), twist it’s head off.  Then she would drain the blood.  After draining the blood, she fired up a pot of boiling water and soaked the chicken until the feathers could easily be plucked.  She would place the chicken into the sink – pluck it – and take all of the inside stuff out.   Then after all of the above – she could begin the process where we begin our process today – seasoning it and cooking it.

Then there was the laundry.  I find it a challenge to get all my laundry washed, dried, folded and into the drawers in a timely manner.  But not too long ago, women washed their clothes – by hand - in sudsy water, put it through a ringer, rinsed the clothes - by hand, put it through another ringer and then hung them outside or in the basement to dry.  THEN – this is the KICKER to me –  every single item had to been ironed!!!  Ugh!  Did I mention, I hate ironing and avoid buying clothes that need ironed?   There was no such thing as permanent press so everything including underwear was wrinkley and in need of being ironed.   It would be one long day if I ironed every item I wash! 

Since our great grandmothers sewed much of their clothes, sewing and mending was a large part of a woman’s day.  My grandmother says how excited she was when the invention of iron on patches were created!   I am SO thankful for stores like Target where I can get matching sets of clothes for five bucks a pop! 

Oh – the time our generation has been given by convenience stores and products is  a gift!  But we have managed to fill up all the extra time with all sorts of things. I feel it.  There are days where I look around and can’t figure out where the day has gone and why the house looks like a tornado hit.

Where has all the free time that convenience stores and products have given us?  Can I suggest where one large portion of that time has gone…

MEDIA!

I am not saying this is the only time zapper we are experiencing – but it’s one large one so let me be transparent for a moment.

1.  I am guilty of being on my computer while laundry piles up.

2.  I am guilty of letting my children out of chores so I can have more time answering email in the morning – rather than overseeing them with their chores.  As a result – the upstairs is messy for the day.  But the kids love it! lol!

3.  I am guilty of staying up too late following a twitter stream rather than doing something more productive around the house like cleaning out a closet or baking a batch of cookies for the family. 

4.  I am guilty of admiring someone else’s decorating or garden on-line rather than decorating my own home or tending to my own garden…yes, weeds grow while I read about gardening!    My home school room goes undecorated, while I admire all the amazing homeschool rooms on-line!  It’s so ironic!  I have a plethora of ideas – but in the rush of life, I’m not slowing down to do them.

I am sharing this in hopes that you can relate to the struggle I have.  I have learned SO much off of other ladies on-line as far as tips and tricks and recipes for homemaking but at times it has taken me away from homemaking and caused a bit of chaos in my home.  One of the best ways I’ve managed on-line time is through logging my hours or setting a timer to keep me from neglecting other more important duties.

Let’s strive together to be Proverbs 31:27 women : “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”  Together let’s pursue making our homes havens for our families by being organized, consistent and self-disciplined.  Let’s aim to not be distracted and distant, but always there with a hug, a smile, a warm meal, a clean set of sheets and some lines in the rugs from our vaccuum.  It is one way we can show, without words, our love to our families.  This is how our great grandmothers did it.

Share with me your thoughts:

1. If you are a blogger and you have decided to join this series by blogging each week, please place the Media Mondays button somewhere on your blog so your readers can find us here and then link-up below. (if for some reason the code is not working for you – please – right click – save as – the Media Mondays button and link it to this post)

2.If you are not a blogger, join the discussion in the comment section! I look foward to hearing your thoughts.

3. If you use Facebook or Twitter, I want to encourage you to copy and paste this link from the browser on your status update and ask your friends to join the discussion.

Walk with the King!

Media and Our Parenting ~ Part 2

Yesterday we discussed areas where children are using media heavily – this includes cell phones, texting,  the internet, facebook, twitter, youtube, iPods, video games and the television. 

All of these media outlets or amoral – they are neither good nor bad – it’s the use of them that determines their morality.   This is the lesson our children must learn. 

As moms, we must train our children to recognize the good use and the harmful use of media.  How you may ask?  Here’s a few of my thoughts – please add to them in the comments section:

1. Boundaries.  When the item comes into the home for the first time – set boundaries. 

For example, the cell phone will charge in the kitchen each night – where mom and dad have access to everything that has happened on the phone during the day.  This avoids the phone being used at all hours of the night for secret temptations.

Another example – video games – set a timer.  It’s so inconvenient but how far are we willing to go to keep from raising lazy children?  It’s worth it. 

 iPods – have them get permission before downloading any songs period.  Screen their music and help them make wise decisions.  If there is a certain song they like that you think is unhealthy – talk about it. 

 Television – block channels or hours of the day when they are not to be watching. 

Computers – keep them in a central location in the home where sneaking would be difficult – ie. the kitchen.  My sister has an automatic shut down on her computer – from midnight until morning it can’t be turned on without a code that only she knows.

2.  Prepare to be unpopular with your child.  If you set the above boundaries – be prepared for some battles.  It’s easiest to have no boundaries at all.  But you know better than your children all the dangers.  You will have to be strong, consistent, gentle in your explanations and prayful as you guide your children. 

3.  Don’t be afraid to snoop.  Okay – I already know that there are a host of moms who really think this is a bad idea – you think it will ruin your relationship with your children right?  NOPE – let your children know in advance that you will be overseeing their activity on media ie. snooping.   It should be no secret to your children that you are aware of what they are doing – this will keep them from feeling violated – you will not secretly snoop – you will openly oversee their activity because you love them and want to protect and guide them.  

My parents did all of the above during my youth.  They set boundaries on music, movies, tv, friendships, books and magazines.  They were very unpopular for their boundaries.  None of my friends had as strict of boundaries as my parents had (both in my public school and in my youth group.) I cried at times, complained, fought back, and mouthed off.  My parents stood their ground – in love. And I am SO glad they did!  (Thanks Mom and Dad!  You rock!)

The key is they did this IN LOVE.  My parents talked with me about my choices, showed me in God’s word principles that dictated our choices, and guided me into truth lovingly and gently. 

I was able to receive their boundaries because of 2 things:

1.  I had been loved with an unconditional, gentle, and forgiving love.  My parents listened and listened and listened to my heart – and then after all their listening – they guided my heart.  We must have our children’s heart if we are going to lead them into truth.  This listening starts the day they are born.  Do not be the distracted mom on your computer (preaching at myself here) – listen to your children – listening equals love.

2.  They taught me to fear God.  This was key to my obedience of their boundaries.  From a young age my parents taught me how to have a quiet time.  I developed my own walk with God by 4th grade.  The more I obeyed, the more sensitive I was to detecting things that were holy and unholy in the media.  The more I was able to detect holy and unholy things, the more discerning I became. The more discerning I became, the more wise I became until I came to a point of not needing my parents guidance.  I naturally knew what was appropriate and inappropriate and began discerning for myself (as my sisters can attest to - I was a real pest to my big sisters as they tried to enjoy the radio – I was known for saying “that song is baaaaaaad“.  My poor sisters :(  Thanks for putting up with me girlies!  You rock too!)
 

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

 
The child who is loved and has a healthy fear of God will eventually be able to monitor their own media.  A child who daily is in God’s word and desires to please him will be sensitive to the junk media offers and will practice self-control.  So we must parent toward this goal.  To raise children who love and fear God and who have their own personal walk with God.

 

Walk with the King!

Don’t forget to visit the link-ups from part 1!  I love hearing everyone’s thoughts on this!