Social media. We give it a lot of hate sometimes, but really, we love it. In fact, a lot of us are addicted to it. For example, when you’re waiting at your doctor’s office no one is sitting around reading a magazine or making small talk. We’re all staring at our phone screens!
Now I know that it sounds like I’m totally bashing social media, but that’s not really what I’m trying to do. Social media is a wonderful tool to help us connect with others. Just to be clear–I still use it and probably always will. It’s kind of hard to be a successful blogger and never use social media anyway.
However, the youth group I help lead participated in a challenge to devote more time in prayer and Bible study, and to develop a deeper faith in Christ. During this challenge we were encouraged to fast from social media for 21 days.
This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but that always terrified me. And now I’m so excited to share with you what I learned from my fast from social media.
1.What Social Media’s Purpose Really Is
I couldn’t fast from social media completely. That’s just unrealistic considering that I’m a blogger and have family and other people that I have to contact through social media. So I tailored my fast to my specific problem (or addiction): Aimless browsing when I could be doing something productive.
During this fast I discovered the purpose behind Facebook and Instagram. These sites (as well as others) are great for self-expression, sharing, and connecting with others. They are enhancements to our everyday life–not a substitute.
2. It Was Harder Than I Thought It Would Be
I literally had to pull back my own hand during those dull moments between classes or while waiting for dinner. And don’t even get me started on breaking my bedtime scrolling addiction. Yes, there were times I failed. This is why I’m thankful for God’s grace and strength.
3. How to Make Eye Contact Again
My mom, who doesn’t own a smart phone, always complained that I never looked at her while she spoke. We could be in the same room, but my phone would always suck me into a different world. I had to apologize because I didn’t realize how true this actually was until the fast. Now when I sit and people around me are on their phones, I’m the one who sees how they’re in another world.
4. How to Be Productive Again
So what did I do during those dull moments when I wasn’t scrolling through another person’s pictures of what they ate for breakfast? I read my Bible and prayed. Sometimes I would use the excuse that I didn’t have time to do these things more regularly. Social media proved this to be a lie. If you are struggling to find time to read the Word or pray more, then I encourage you to get off of social media for a week and see what happens.
I also found more time for other things. I can now make blogging and writing a priority (yay!). I also have more time to read actual books, call people, knit, get back into yoga, and just look out a window and notice the sun piercing through a cloudy day.
5. How to Stop Comparing Myself to Others
Okay, so I haven’t completely weaned this bad habit out of my life yet. However, ditching the mindless scrolling through other peoples’ posts has helped immensely. I have a perfectionist nature by heart, which is both a blessing and a curse. It’s so hard when you’re bombarded by pictures and posts of other women looking gorgeous, stylish, happy, and in love.
After I ditched social media I began to realize that these posts are just snap shots from random pieces of life–they are not the little everyday moments.It’s okay to not be like everyone else. We need to be who God created us to be, and to live for the purpose He gave us ( Romans 8:30).
So there you have it. I hope I have inspired you to fast from social media as well, or at least become more mindful of your scrolling habits. I think I will continue this fast and make it more a part of my life. It’s not that I will never scroll again, but from now on I will make it more purposeful. There is so much life we miss out on when we are glued to our phones!
Thanks for reading! I pray that this post blesses and inspires you. Please feel free to comment and share 🙂