*This post has been updated April 30, 2020 with my discoveries on this topic. Please see notes in red. Thanks for joining my journey!
I began 2019 with Lasik surgery. The procedure corrected my eyes and gave me 20/10 vision (thats actually clearer than 20/20, WOW! Check out my hilarious retelling of the process here).
After that, I knew Jesus wanted me to begin seeing more clearly with my spiritual eyes too. So I have been taking inventory on what exactly I allow to pass through my eyeballs. What does it do to me once it gets to my mind and my heart? The results of my visual archives were less than stellar. It’s like I re-wrote a beautiful hymn to be about Facebook and Instagram:
Come, Thou Fount of social media
Tune my heart to chiming ways
Scrolls of opinions, never ceasing
Call for clicks of loudest praise
Show me some polarizing post
Sung by false-news sources found
Praise the platform, I’m fixed upon it
To your likes my soul is bound.
Too often, I look to the fountain of social media for emotional and social sustenance. I walk more in-step with facebook than the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:25).
Finally fed up, it’s time for a break.
I am taking a year-off of social media.
I’m done looking at my screen for 2+ hours a day! I want to see real sunsets and read good books. I plan to get photography books from the library and lay them on my coffee table and actually look through them.
I will gaze into the eyes of real people, without a glowing device between us.
I will sit down with loved ones and show them our family photo albums, and enjoy the memories I am making in real time with my amazing tribe of people.
Perhaps you’d like to join me? On November 1 I will deactivate my Facebook account (note: one can still use messenger with a deactivated FB account). I also plan to delete the instagram app from my phone. I’ll be writing about my journey here, starting with 11 more thoughts on why I need a break. By this time next year, I’ll know if I’m ready to re-engage or quit forever.
Surprisingly, I’m really looking forward to this year without social media. To truly sing these words about Jesus, not social media:
“Come thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace… Streams of mercy, never ceasing, calls for songs of loudest praise…”
Cheers to the freedom from glowing screens and distracting machines.
So, how did it go after 6 months?
Honest confession: My eyeballs were still hooked on my phone these last 6 months, mostly on Pinterest.
It wasn’t all bad though! I pinned and experimented with recipes in my kitchen. I discovered my personal design taste and used it to make our home feel enriching and lovely. I expanded my gardening knowledge and gained green thumb motivation.
So the scrolling didn’t feel like a loss or waste of time, rather a creative and energizing boost for improving our life. The downside: my improvement mentality often overpowers my enjoyment mentality. Everything has become a project, rather than a space or a meal. This isn’t necessarily good or bad, but worth noting.
Action Plan: Set different limits. Avoiding social media did not limit screen time. I need specific boundaries to keep me from being a phone zombie.
“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:6-8
Want more? Check out 12 Lessons I learned from my social media break.