I’m almost 4 weeks into my social media fast for Lent.
Enough time to get a feeling for how it’s really affecting me.
I started out feeling light as a feather from not being connected all the time, and that lightness has continued.
Sadly, I still find ways to fill the void previously occupied with social media.
I obsessively check my blog reader, email, and text conversations. I grab a book or turn on the Food Network.
Those things are certainly less consuming than social media, but they’re still noise.
I’m in the home stretch of the fast now, and my prayer is that I will continue to quiet my heart. Get to a deeper level of stillness and calm. Create more space to be with God and for Him to speak to me.
When I take stock of how my life is different without social media, I realize I’m less irritable and critical. I worry less about other people’s lives. I don’t compare as much.
I’m not scrolling through a bunch of dogmatic opinions on Facebook. I’m not seeing other women’s perfect-looking photos and feeling bad about mine. I’m not obsessing over how many followers I gain or lose.
I’m more present in my real life.
Which is such a good thing.
On the flip side, I find myself missing a few ladies I consider to be friends.
I only “know” them online, but I really enjoy them. Their pictures and pursuits and thoughts and perspectives all bring joy to my life.
Because I’m not on social media right now, I have no contact with them.
I honestly miss them.
It will be so great to catch up when I get back online.
Overall, the pros of being “disconnected” seem to outweigh the cons, but I do think there is value in social media. In connecting with other people even though we can’t physically be together.
It can be powerful to share our lives online. To bring a little heaven to earth by being kind and speaking love and being honest and vulnerable with one another.
Women today are so busy.
We work hard. We parent hard. We grocery shop hard. We love our husbands hard. We serve hard in our churches and schools and communities.
It can be difficult to find time to socialize. Sometimes it’s just “one more thing” to make time to hang out with a girlfriend.
We fall exhausted onto the couch at night after our busy days. We usually grab our phones or tablets and start scrolling to numb out.
If we find connection with other women and we find the gospel dripping from lovely blog posts and we find the smiling faces of other women warriors, we feel less alone.
We were made to live in community.
We were made in the image of a God who lives in community!
He could have been one, but he decided to be three.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We actually need one another and social media is a way for us to connect in our busy, modern age.
It almost feels like this fast has helped separate the wheat from the chaff. Whisking the junk of social media away with the wind and allowing the worthy wheat to fall down and be seen.
I’m looking forward to delving back in with this new perspective.
I know it won’t be perfect, and I’ll still numb out in cyberspace from time to time, but I’m hopeful that I’ll keep it in proper perspective and maintain the quiet in my heart more often than not.
Have you ever given up social media for a stretch of time? What did you learn?