I needed a break from social media! A big one. I realized that I was on social media ALL the time. I was caught up in who was doing what, with who and when. I was scrolling while waiting in the grocery line, while in church, and even while waiting in the carpool line and sometimes even at the red light (hides face).
Yep, I was that mom!
Then one day, the holy spirit convicted me very quickly, “You could write your book with the time you are scrolling.”
I was ashamed, but I knew it was the truth. Between Instagram, Facebook and Candy Crush, my time was immobilized being engulfed with the distraction of other people’s lives and things that only sought to keep me busy from tending my own life.
So, I quit. For 40 days. And it was amazing!
Here is what I discovered:
I was no longer distracted. – Let me explain. I wasn’t scrolling on social media, while my children were trying to have a conversation with me. I wasn’t scrolling instead of listening to my pastor. I wasn’t scrolling instead of looking into the face of a friend who was talking to me about something. While in prayer, I wasn’t obsessed with notifications because I was not connected to social media. When I would pick up my phone, I would realize that there was nothing to do, so this forced me to be present wherever I was. I was free in the grocery store to minister if the Lord led me so, I was able to listen intently during church to the message. And after a few days, I could sense the change in my heart.
I wasn’t comparing – This is HUGE! I can be completely honest with you all. We all like to say we are confident in who we are, but after staring at other people’s lives for hours, how can we not feel the slightest bit inadequate? In a matter of minutes, you see people publishing books, having successes, taking trips, getting engaged, becoming pregnant, buying a new home, getting new jobs, etc. And it’s easy to think, “Here I am, just sitting in my job/at home, waiting for _________________ (insert what you’re hoping for)” This was such a stumbling block for me! As soon as I got off social media, I was no longer obsessed with what I was doing? Was this post worthy? Became a question of the past because I was forced to become obsessed with my own life and my personal relationship with God. I went to pray instead of scroll and the only comparison I began to make was “How can I become more like God and less like the world?”
I didn’t feel entwined in others’ lives – let me make this clear. Social media has in some ways, given us too much liberty day to day. I can look at someone’s timeline and be able to tell what they have done with their lives (depending on what they post) for the last few days. I know what they had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I know what they’re hoping for and where they’ve been. I know all of their problems and struggles and I am also anxiously waiting to see what they post next. Instead of anxiously waiting to hear a word from God (which is what my mouth would say) I was more interested in what other people were doing. When I took the break, I remember moments where I would realize that I didn’t know what other people had going on, I had become SO connected with God in a matter of days that after a few weeks, God began to speak to me about ministering and praying or others! It blew my mind and I never want to find myself in a space where I am not available to meet him and wait anxiously for his word!
I recognized the true motives of my heart – I know that God uses social media to speak through others and minister his word and this is one way that I believed that I was supposed to share my story and my testimony. But what had transpired over the past few months, was more about “what did I have to share” instead of “what would you like me to share lord” I became more obsessed over what it sounded like, who liked it and if it was truly from the Lord. I don’t believe this was what God had in mind when I began to post and testify. I needed to learn to be obedient without wondering who would like it, if someone would comment or if I would feel gratified about the post. It wasn’t the point. The point was to bring GLORY to God not myself. I needed to learn this. I haven’t posted much since I got back on, but the truth is, now I have a point in posting (glorify God) and not a motive (others to see me).
My children were on social media /internet more than I was – Yes, its true! When I got off social media, I began to realize how much LESS I had my phone attached to my hip. There was nothing to do, unless I was texting or checking my email which wasn’t at all exciting. But then I noticed that my children were always on theirs. Now, I do limit which apps they are on, but they love watching prank videos and other videos on YouTube associated with their interests. I noticed that their phones were the first thing they reached for in the morning instead of washing their face or brushing their teeth. They were now all engrossed in their phones instead of talking to me or with each other. I also noticed that they were scrolling instead of praying before bed. What a bad example I had set!! Now I had to begin setting boundaries for them with their phones so that they wouldn’t be obsessed as I was.
One thing is certain. I know God on a new level that I did not when I began swapping time for God with scrolling on my phone. I realized that in the silence of our minds when we are scrolling and comparing and contrasting, we are being overloaded with so much information! When I went back on the first day, I remember feeling overwhelmed! There was sooo much. Someone was getting married, someone was posting a funny video, someone was posting something motivational and someone was making a joke out of something that wasn’t really funny when you really thought about it. It was too much for my brain. Something I NEVER thought I would say. I didn’t even get back on until the next day! I am definitely not insisting that I’ll never get back on, on a daily basis, but for now, I still desperately need Jesus more than any other person could ever motivate me!