In Christianity (and plenty of other religions), fasting has been a spiritual discipline for millenia. The idea is to not eat for a particular period of time (a meal, a day, three days, 40 days[!], etc.) and to focus on prayer.
I spent so many years pregnant and/or nursing, and during that time I really needed to eat regularly. My body was working with an extra-fast metabolism, and my kiddos were depending on that nutrition. So occasionally I'd do some sort of "media fast," where I'd stay away from TV, radio, and/or Internet for the better portion of a day. I found that for me, this seems to have more meaning than a traditional food fast. My brain slows down enough to pray--and relax--when I'm not constantly listening, watching, or typing.
I knew that yesterday some family members were going to be fasting and praying for the missionaries in Haiti, and I decided to take time away from the Internet. This isn't about strict rules; I didn't stay away 100% of the time. But I didn't read any news stories. (Checking Google News every other second for Haiti stories has been my recent obsession, and it really doesn't bring me much peace.) I checked email once, responding to very few. I kept Twitter and Facebook closed. I didn't check any blogs, only taking a few seconds to set up a writing prompt at my other blog.
It reminded me to pray. And beyond that, it just afforded me with more peace. It was hard not checking email, Twitter, news, etc. throughout the day, but it was also nice. I even got our taxes done (which required quite a bit of Internet time, but not of the fun variety.)
And you know what? The Internet survived without me. Maybe I should give it that opportunity more often.
(By the way, we are hopeful that the missionaries may be released Monday, but nothing is certain. If you do pray, please continue this weekend.)