The sense of urgency for a social media break had been hovering over me for some time. So, on December 24, I signed off of my personal sites. I still managed my business and blog pages but only minimally; And I mean very minimally.
I can honestly say, I didn’t scroll. Not once. My thumb is grateful for the downtime… ??
I wanted this break for a lot reasons. I was deep into a season of busyness and finding it difficult to surface for air. My aptitude for optimism, multitasking, and enjoying life were suffering. This naturally affected my health, marriage, finances, and quietness with God.
For 2 months leading up to the detox, I found myself having panic attacks yet again. Stress was manifesting itself as migraines, chest tightness, shortness of breath, inability to focus and process information, and depression.
I spent some time in prayer and meditation seeking God’s help. What I found was that there were some circumstances that I had complete control over. One of them being my relationship with social media.
That’s right… relationship. Social media had cunningly seduced me with it’s hidden messages of discontentment, comparison, and need.
But finally, I had my “aint nobody got time for that” moment. ?
Truth be told, social media is absolutely a bittersweet concept. It’s kind of like money… as Dave Ramsey says, money is amoral. I believe social media is, too. It is just a thing. But, it’s what you make of it that matters.
I had made social media my idol.
So, like a tweezed eye brow hair, I plucked that sucker right out. And you know what!?!? SO MANY wonderful things happened.
1. My anxiety was diffused.
I’ve been living with anxiety ever since my parents’ divorce way back in 1998. It’s like a stomach ulcer that never goes away. By no means is that ailment gone, but by golly, I found myself more contented and at peace. It’s a miracle.
2. My ability to focus improved.
I learned the hard lesson that social media is a lot of noise. I felt like the Grinch – NOISE NOISE NOISE!
And to further prove my point, after just 10 days, I logged onto FB (to check my business page) and this is what I found…
That’s right… count it… 90 notifications. At first I thought, “ok, my birthday was yesterday so maybe it was that”… but no. With the exception of maybe 5 notifications, 85 or so were all random blips.
3. It finally sunk in that social media encourages procrastination.
I was so behind in getting my obligations to work, farm, and other randomness done that I started to lose hope it would ever be accomplished. I realized that every time I tried to attack my to do list, I’d become discouraged and default to procrastination. I’d move onto the comforts of scrolling through mindless media.
Forcing myself to address my list of to dos made me… you guessed it… get crap done! All of a sudden my list started to shrink and with each opportunity to cross off an item, I gained more and more traction and motivation to continue getting stuff done.
4. I started reading… A LOT!
This new found quietness has allowed me to really look hard at my ambitions for 2017. After just a few days of purposeful focus on my to do list, I found I had more time than ever to just chill and enjoy life.
So, I started filling that time with meaningful reading of books and articles. I seized the moment to research things I’ve been pondering (and that you will probably read about later on in this blog or our farm one).
Read more books, y’all! #successfulpeopleread
5. I was inspired to attack other idols.
I now have fresh inspiration to turn off the tv and demolish other idols that have taken up residence in my life and heart. Again, it’s all just noise. Noise, noise, noise.
6. I realized how different it is to sit in the company of others and be the only one without a phone glued to their eyeballs.
Learning to live without social media is hard work and a different mind set.
This is the hardest result of my social media break. In those moments that I wanted to learn how to do relationships again, I found myself being the only participant. It was a one sided deal. But, that’s ok. There is a season for everything and perhaps in this one I need to learn how to fill my time alone and enjoy the quietness therein.
Or perhaps join a book club…