Wondering if your social media habits are sustainable for the next 50 years of your life? Me too! Here’s why I am taking a year off (maybe more!):
1: I want to stop being envious.
I am drawn to people who don’t have social media accounts. I envy their freedom and peace of mind. Off the top of my head, I only know 3 people like this. My husband felt the same, so he did something about it. Now I know 4. The Bible says “do not envy” and I’d like to obey the Bible, so on November 1st, you’re about to meet number 5. How many people do you know with no social media accounts?
2: I have lost respect for a lot of people.
I have a lot of social media friends that are really just acquaintances in real life: people I shake hands with at church, someone I take a class with at the gym, etc.
It is not realistic to know all of these people on a deep level. There is no real life exchange of ideas or sharing of emotions. But you know what does exist in real life?
Voicing a polarizing ideal takes courage in conversation. Posting it only takes a click.
On a given Sunday, I can worship side-by-side with someone at church in the morning, then feel attacked and marginalized by their Facebook post that afternoon. Later, I avoid them, even despise them sometimes, in real life.
I live on the other end of this too! My opinions and shares can be taken out of context just as easily.
My prayers for unity for God’s people need to start with my own heart. I cannot control people being human, saying things that hurt one another. But I can control my awareness of it.
That’s right, I want to be blissfully ignorant of people’s flaws for the sake of God’s Kingdom.
Getting off social media is my way of living out God’s Word which says:
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.”
3: I want a sustainable way to celebrate our memories.
I’m excited to replace social media time with other meaningful investments. Like making photo books and writing in the journals we began for each kid at their birth.
I will miss the Facebook “memories” that pop up, but Shutterfly has the same feature. And a family album on our coffee table will do the trick too. Hard copies of memories give me peace of mind also. I don’t need to worry about electronics fizzing out or a server crashing and losing my data.
Ultimately, I want our memories to be a part of our home, not imprisoned in my phone.
4: I want deeper human connection.
I haven’t called my grandma in months. She hasn’t called me either. We both know generally what is going on with one another, so there isn’t much of a need for a conversation. I’ve been mourning that for a while. Now I am doing something about that.
5: I want to protect the treasure that is my life.
Moments have become cheap. We under-appreciate them because we expect everyone else to do the appreciating with their like’s and comments. If I keep things more private by not posting on social media, perhaps I will cherish each moment more.
It feels a lot like social and professional suicide to take a year off of social media. I cling to Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:25, “whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.” I am counting on this loss of mediated connection to help me find true life again.
I can hear you asking, “But what about all your Social media memories?”
No doubt there are some valuable comments and posts there too. Thankfully, there is a way to download and save EVERYTHING from your Facebook account and your Instagram. See these CNET articles for the eye-opening truth:
This is me signing off for a year and happily becoming a black sheep among my generation.