Gosh, how I love digital fasts. And Lent 2011 has given us a bumper crop of digital fasters who now find 40 days without Facebook (or Twitter) more profound and painful than a month without booze, TV or smokes. Well, if they can live without us for 40 days (sniff!) then we can live without them.
And apparently I’m not the only one who’s ready for a digital fast fast. Jon Acuff of Stuff Christians Like — how did I not know about this incredibly funny, tech-smart blogger? — has a truly awesome post providing the essential steps for digital fasts. He notes it’s an especially tough challenge for Christians, because
The Bible is very thin on the best way to wean yourself off of a Twitter addiction. Not once does Peter say, “Follow me on Twitter, I’m @Rock.” Or better yet for all you old school rap fans out there, “@PeteRock.”
He then goes on to spell ou the 7 steps of fasting, including the pre-fast web overdose and the post-fast triumphant return. But my favorite is step 2:
Write a blog post about taking a digital fast. The irony of writing online about how you are going to take some time from being online is so rich it’s like a delicious sandwich spread made of boysenberry and irony. Technically the Bible says we’re not supposed to tell people when we fast. Maybe posts on your blog don’t count. Maybe.
As you can gather, Acuff’s steps have a Christian spin (a delightfully humorous spin, at that) but they apply to anyone who is trying to unplug, whether for 4 hours or 40 days. Or more particularly, they apply to my feelings about anyone who is trying to unplug: if you think it’s useful, take it for a spin. And do tell us what you’ve learned about your relationship to technology as a result. But please, please, can you keep your revelations from taking up more online space than the fast cleared out?First posted on March 21,2011