Practical Advice on Abstinence

Pravmir.com team | 11 December 2018

Fasting from information is no less important for a contemporary person than fasting from food. Excessive consumption of information, which can even be labeled as “information gluttony”, is a widespread pestilence. Excessive consumption of information is the scourge of modern era, and that is why there isn’t anything about it in the rules of fast. This is not to say that consuming too much information has a lesser impact on our souls than overeating.

A Christian man shared how he had decided to refrain from watching TV for a month. In spite of his not having been too much of a TV fan previously, he felt so much pressure to switch on the TV that he likened it to drug addiction: he would even wake up in the middle of the night to watch TV secretly. Honestly, what do you personally crave more: boiled food or online entertainment? (I’m not speaking of work-related computer use. I’m speaking of using gadgets for entertainment, that is, for useless chatting and satisfying one’s curiosity).

Needless to say, a TV or a tablet is nothing but a tool, which can be a source of either good or bad knowledge. Reasonable amount of information is as important as quality of that information. Here is some advice:

– stop using gadgets and TV for the duration of the fast and turn to spiritually edifying books. It will help you realize how much we rely on mass media. Do they serve us or vice versa?

– at least, stop following the news. If that sounds impossible, try to recall the hottest topics in the news from three days ago. Are you sure you really can’t live without that information vapor? If you are afraid that you’ll miss something really important, don’t worry: people around you will never give you a chance not to learn about the important event that happened while you were unplugged.

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