This past spring our women’s ministry studied Jen Hatmaker’s book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and my friend asked me if I would speak on the chapter about fasting from media.

I wish you could see my cursor blinking because that’s pretty much how I reacted when she asked me.  I just blinked.  My first reaction was “absolutely NO WAY!”

I do not hide my iPhone addiction.  Many people know about it, I have spoken about it, blogged about it, and prayed about it — and I still struggle with it.  While I prepared to fast from media I used all of my Candy Crush lives and special candy powers, scrolled through as much Facebook as I could, and tried one last time to beat my sister’s high score in Bejeweled.  And then I was readyish for the fast.

I seriously went from headed toward this trajectory:

And this reality:

To this trajectory:

photo from: http://mom.me/blog

Ok not really but give me some credit — I put my phone away except for phone calls and limited texts, ya’ll!  In my head I was family member of the year!

Here were my findings:  

  1. I have addictive behavior tendencies that stem from a place of perfectionism.  I wanted to crush that candy so I could get to the next level and the next — never-mind my starving child and dirty house, there were levels to conquer!
  2. I have addictive behavior tendencies … period.  Having something as handy as an iPhone isn’t necessarily a good thing for people like me.
  3. I was teaching my kid to have addictive behavior tendencies.

Are you sensing a pattern here?  But wait, there’s more.

  1. I was ruining my marriage because I gave my phone more eye contact than I gave my husband.
  2. I wasn’t reading my bible because I had candy to crush.
  3. I wasn’t reading anything really, except the directions that proceeded each new candy crush level.

I realized all of these things in just one week of not messing around on my phone.  So guess what I did when the fast was over?

I kept fasting.  

My husband and I started talking again.  My son no longer had comebacks such as, “why do I have to get off my Xbox if you’re playing games on your phone all the time!?!” <— yes that hurt, like a punch to the stomach.  I was also back in the Word of God, learning and growing and studying my Savior.

How am I now, 4 months later?
I ended up deleted approximately 20 apps.  It was refreshing and honestly I didn’t miss them.  Things are different now thanks to Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform.  I have learned how to use Facebook and Twitter in a way that supports my dreams and goals instead of working against them.

I still struggle from time to time and my husband is great about gently reminding me when I am “doing it again” and I don’t even realize it.  Habits are so incredibly hard to break.

  • Maybe you can play Candy Crush and still be a priceless gem to your family, I couldn’t.
  • Maybe you can keep yourself from scrolling endlessly through Facebook and Instagram, I couldn’t.
  • Or maybe, just maybe, you’re like me and this candy confession was just what you needed to read.

What do you struggle with in terms of media addictions?

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11 thoughts on “candy crush confessions

  1. Addicted to my email. I’m constantly refreshing it on my phone or logging into my work email to see if I missed something. I.must.stop. I never got addicted to Candy Crush simply because I never played. Had I played, I would be addicted …. no doubt!

    Sent from my iPad

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  2. Thanks so much for your dialogue. I live in Australia. My wife’s behaviour seems to have transformed over recent months such that her emotional availability, energy level and physical fatigue, and interest in engaging with me has rapidly dropped away. I have searched for answers and after reading your blog and numerous other websites conclude that she has had the best parts if her life captured and consumed by Candy crush. I have found myself constantly making comments about her inability to go without the phone and next shot of the game, her disregard for our common interests and her insistence the problems stem from me. She no longer reads the Bible, or prays and when I suggest she abandons the game for a week the reaction is aggressive and suddenly filled with a transformed behaviour. Where do I get help when denial is the response? Regards

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    1. Hi Malcolm. I cringed while I read your comment. I have been there. And I didn’t want to change either. I truly think I showed addictive behavior and I probably could have benefitted from a recovery program. Our church offers a program called Celebrate Recovery. You might look it up and see if it’s offered in Australia – and if not, contact the people who created the program to see if there is an equivalent program that they know of in Australia. I am going to pray for wisdom for you, Malcom. And I am going to pray that your wife starts to really miss her family and long for that connection once again.

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