Practical Advice on Information Impoverishment as a Way of Fasting

Informational fasting is no less important for a modern person than fasting in food. Indeed, gorging on information or, one might even say, “information gluttony” is a widespread passion. Consuming too much data is the scourge of our time. It is therefore not mentioned in the ecclesiastical rules on fasting. That does not mean however that it affects our souls less than excess food.

One person once told me that he decided to give a vow of not watching TV for a month. Despite generally not being a TV addict, he experienced narcotic-like withdrawal symptoms (even to the point of waking up at night to secretly turn on the blue screen while the family is asleep). Let’s answer honestly, which is more important to us, cooked food or computer entertainment? (By entertainment I mean empty chatter and satisfying idle curiosity rather than computer itself).

Just like television, computers can become a source of both good and evil knowledge. But besides controlling the quality of our data, it is also important to keep its amount reasonable. It seems like the following pieces of advice could be useful during the fast:

For a limited time completely abandon the computer and television (outside of work) and turn (at least temporarily) to spiritually instructive literature. This could help us realize how much we are attached to the media and answer ourselves whether the media serves us, or, perhaps, we have become its servants imperceptibly.

Let us give up at least watching the news. If that seems impossible, try to remember what was the most important news 3 days ago? That may help you answer more honestly whether that information steam is really so vital. If you are worried about missing something important, don’t worry. Those around you will not give you the slightest opportunity to miss out on an important event.

Translated by The Catalogue of Good Deeds

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  1. This is good advice. I like to joke I have been Facebook sober for 6 years now. I do notice I fall into a malaise/hypnosis when scrolling through YouTube. The scrolling itself seems to have quite an entraining effect on the brain. And yes. Mainstream news is a source of poison, it’s just not as tailer made to the individual as the algorithms of FB, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Which seems to utilize self-affirming content to keep you going on their platforms

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