I can hear your complaints through my computer screen right now. Yes, I am serious, take a day off of social media. Now, I know that this seems hypocritical, but I promise you, this post was written in advance so that I just had to push “publish” and I am not going to be scrolling socials while you are going through withdrawals.
I am serious about withdrawals too. I took a month off of social media a while ago, and I had to delete the apps from my phone in order to keep my commitment. It took a couple of days to figure out what to do with myself when I felt the panic associated with having moments without constant entertainment.
There are a lot of reasons to cut out socials for a season, some of them health related. It can’t be good for our eyes in the long-term and the constant dopamine rushes that we feel are not natural. However, I put this assignment into the Bootcamp because of what I experienced while I was social media fasting.
Here is what I discovered:
- I wrote a lot more
There is a good chance that this Bootcamp and this blog would not exist if I kept up the same pace of social media consumption.
- I sought out better conversations
In the absence of social media to provide me with stories and the news, I had to find it somewhere else. Luckily for me, I found it in face-to-face conversations with other human people.
- Humble bragging
If nothing else, taking some time off of social media is a conversation starter. It is pretty easy to talk about how difficult it is, or what you are learning as a result of your fast. Most people I talked to had considered doing a social media fast too, and were envious of my determination to actually go through with it.
This one simple move made a big difference in my life. At the end, I wanted the social part of social media, without the media, so I decided to put the apps back on my phone. However, I deleted the icons from my home screen.
Now, in order to access Facebook or Instagram, I have to open the search bar in order to find the apps. This extra step helps me to remember that these are not priorities and do not exist to be time-sucks in my life. Rather, they exist for me to check in once or twice a day.
For the first time in my life, I spend more time creating on social media than consuming. I want my voice to be a powerful display of what God can do in a life. I want to help people dream of a better community in which they can worship God. Socials are a great platform for helping others. It can, however, become a giant distraction too.
Take a day off, see how God redeems the time, and let me know what happens!