So, I decided to take a little week long break from social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It was kinda awkward-feeling and inconvenient at first, but I grew to actually appreciate it. How odd. Here are my thoughts from this week: (Oh, P.S., when I refer to my “virtual friends”, it doesn’t mean they aren’t my genuinely real friends too; it’s just my way of trying to make a point.)
I didn’t think I was addicted to social media. I really didn’t. “Oh I mostly just scroll through Twitter and Instagram when I’m waiting around for something, killing some time.” And “I’m only on Facebook for a couple minutes at a time.” While this may be the case the majority of the time, I realize I had become dependent on it. Awkward situation? No problem! Get on Instagram. Uncomfortable silence? Scroll through Twitter. These are easy outs for any situation you may find yourself in. I caught myself reaching for my phone many times in these types of situations this week, to save myself from the real life, present world by diving into a virtual one. Then I had to stop myself, put the phone down, and learn to deal with reality. I’m not gonna lie, it was difficult to get used to this. But it is so worth it if you can master it, which I am still trying. Coping and dealing with the situations you may find yourself in is an important life skill. Not to mention, it develops better people skills. This generation is so engulfed in our own personal virtual worlds, barely looking up from our phones or laptops, it’s easy to miss the real life that is unfolding before us. Look up, look around, be one hundred percent present in mind and body. Not just solely in physical form. People can tell when you aren’t giving them your undivided attention.
This social media break also helped show me I can entertain myself without depending on Facebook or other social media to provide the entertainment, scrolling through the never-ending posts of my virtual friends’ lives. It’s easy to live vicariously through the lives of others as portrayed in their virtual spaces…When are you going to actually start living your own? Maybe someone will end up living vicariously through you. This break made me feel like I was a youngling again, back before I had unlimited internet access and a device that connected me to the rest of the world. I had to become imaginative again to create my own entertainment. Let me tell you, it was magical…and productive. I worked on some music, I read a book I’ve been meaning to finish, I studied God’s word and spent more genuine time with Him, and much, much more. It was amazing…and that’s an understatement.
And another biggie, I learned to not lean on the affirmation from others so much, especially virtual affirmation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice…real nice. Makes me feel good! I mean, after all, my top love language is Words of Affirmation. So it’s easy to get caught up in the whole “Hey, they liked my status!….Whoa, they commented on my picture!!” and so on and so forth. (You know you do it, too!) I didn’t realize how much I liked it though until this week when I no longer had it. I couldn’t just turn to my virtual friends to find approval and such, I had to look within myself. Do some soul-searching, if you will. Be confident in who I am in Christ. I had to depend more on the truth that God affirms me…I just need to pay more attention to Him when He shows it.
All in all, because of this break from social media, I have grown closer in my walk with God; I have felt more loved, treasured, and valued as I’ve gained a deeper understanding of my worth in God’s eyes; I have become a better steward of my time, and further opened my eyes to the physical, real world that is all around me. I encourage you guys to take a little break, too, even if it’s just a day. In it’s own odd little ways, it is quite refreshing and rejuvenating.
(Also, I realize the irony of posting about fasting from social media…on a social media site. Meh, it is what it is.)