I’ve been considering a social media fast for quite a long time. Lately, my mind has been examining its influence on my life, and truly, I’ve come up short. This transition period has dredged up a LOT of struggles and re-balancing of things that have had to be set aside for many years. Namely, taking care of myself, ensuring my own needs are met, and doing things that I really, truly, deeply enjoy doing.
And, it is not always easy. For me, especially, the influence of social media can often be a stumbling block more than a benefit, so I think it might be time for a change. And, you may feel the need for one, too.
It’s Time for a Social Media Fast Challenge…
I remember way back when in the early years of my life as mom. There was no Pinterest. Facebook was barely a thing. Life was fairly simple. It still had its ups and downs, but in the midst of it all there was a kind of peace: the peace of simply doing life as it came naturally to me.
But, as the internet pushed forward, and as social media unfolded, my eyes were constantly opened to the bajillion different ways that other women ran their homes, or raised their children, or did fun things, etc. Suddenly my life seemed dreary and bleak in comparison to the apparently perfect worlds of all of these other moms, who obviously had it all together.
And, the crazy thing is that I knew it was a lie, but for whatever reason separating the influence of the suggestion from the soil of my heart has been a constant battle for many years.
I’m ready for a change.
For years I’ve been trying to figure out whether or not I can build this platform, this community in my heart, without social media. I find all of the experts continually promoting a pushing of ones voice out into the “public square” of social media world, but along with that activity comes the constant mental energy to think of the next “great post” with little return.
It generally steals a lot of my mental and emotional energy in the day.
It’s THAT much of a mental block for me. I lose precious moments with my kids because my mind is elsewhere. Still I don’t have that answer, but I do know that I need to find the balance between the two. My heart is to serve and share for your benefit, but I need to figure out a plan for doing so without also inflicting my own destruction.
So, I’m extending a challenge to you, too. And, we’ll just do this together. No Facebook groups. No event invites. Just you and me, interacting on here, or me speaking and you silently reading in the background. I cannot voice how deeply I yearn to connect and hear responses back, but I will have to lean into that struggle with the modern age. Prayerfully we will eventually make some headway with that, and I will get to know you through your responses the same way you get to know me through my writing.
Let’s get to it!
Why Fast from Social Media?
Do you struggle with thinking that you are not good enough as a mom? Are you regularly distracted throughout your day by the stories, sagas, posts, and videos shared by others? How often do you unintentionally grab your phone to check out the latest posts or shares? How easy do you think it would be for you to stop these things?
Studies have shown that social media is having quite an adverse effect on our brains and relationships. This article highlights how our cognitive functioning, and internal mental wiring, is ill-equipped to differentiate between being ex-communicated from a close community and a negative social media experience. Though we may think we are more advance now, our mental frameworks are set and established, and not nearly able to keep up with the momentum of our technological advances.
This little TED video does a great overview of explaining some of the additional effects that are occurring in our brains and bodies, whether we like it or not.
This post on The New Yorker highlights several studies that show that while Facebook and other social media platforms may be purposes to foster deeper connections with others, they usually do quite the opposite, while also introducing other unhealthy mental and emotional responses.
And, for me, it’s time to do something about this. I’m tired of feeling the tossing around of my emotions throughout the day, and knowing the lack of focus and clarity that I experience is deeply due to the constant access that I have into the lives and movements of others.
Especially, for me, is the awareness that I don’t WANT to be focused on myself all the time, and sadly it seems that self-promotion is essential for business growth today…so I’m trying to find that harmony in-between.
Maybe you have some similar struggles.
Maybe you, too, are tired of the mental chatter that happens every day, subtly reminding you of how Jenny James took her 2 kids to DisneyWorld and how perfectly put together they all were in their ensemble, while your four kids 6 and under are busy parading around your house in their underwear and refusing to eat their meals without a revisit to World War II.
Perhaps you, too, want to re-discover the simple pleasures of your day, like reading a Berenstein Bear book to your kids or sit and stare at nature outside, and be more present to their sweet aroma. Maybe you, too, want to return to engaging in your life, not just being asleep at the wheel.
If any of this connected to your heart, I’m pleased. It’s always great to know you’re not alone. I hope you will join me and commit to the social media fast challenge. Let’s take hold of our inner lives and embrace our reality with open arms.
Fast Regularly from Social Media and Evaluate the Difference it Makes.
Here’s my challenge to you: For one week out of every month, do a social media fast. Turn off the notifications. Delete apps if need be, or place them in the farthest phone screen you can manage. Logout of everything. Make your most tempting platform as difficult as possible to access.
Let others know that you’ll be doing this, and suggest an alternate way to contact you, if you think it is necessary.
Then, logoff and settle in.
What do you see? How do you feel? With whom are you better able to connect and enjoy? What kinds of things do you move towards to fill your time and enjoy?
Have you always been a doting reader, but your books have been gathering dust for some time? Are you suddenly moving towards cracking them open and breathing in their sweet content?
Have you always had the board game ambition, but been too caught up in emotional disturbance to actually engage in and enjoy playing with your kids?
Take note of everything you can.
Write it down if possible! You will want to remember the differences you notice and keep them in mind here on out. Get a marble notebook, or some cheap spiral notebook, or a beautiful, pretty journal if it keeps you more motivated.
Color. Draw. Write. Laugh. Play. Exercise. Pray. Make delicious foods, or simple foods, or sweet treats, and just enjoy your life.
Then, after a week, I want to hear all about it! Please come back to this site and comment on any related post about the challenge.
I am actually going to do an extended fast. Starting June 1, I will be logged off from social media until further notice, but at most until the end of the year. I will be posting my experiences along the way, too. In fact, I would not be surprised if I begin posting more content here once my mental chatter is more thinned out.
If you want to connect with me, you can subscribe to get all the blog posts, but you can also contact me here. I love hearing from my readers, and as of yet will be sure to respond as soon as possible.
Share your experiences. If you choose to get back onto a social media platform, share a post on your experience and add #SMFastChallenge.
And, most importantly, remember your experiences so you can bring intention and choice back into your time to live your life under your purposeful vision.
I can’t wait to hear all about it! Shalom.
What about you, mama? Does this post resonate with you, too? How do you feel about social media’s influence on your life? And, are you in for a social media fast each month? If yes on any account, comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter and idea!
FrancesEve Drake says
Wow! I decided to do the same thing since April 22, 2019.
In the beginning I thought that my “friends” would miss me and want to send messages.
The truth is that the people you think re your friends on Facebook could not care less about you.
It has been very humbling but very revealing.
This is a lonely walk if you are truly seeking Jesus.
Yes, I understand. I have but only a handful of true friends on FB, and the rest are mere distractions. Actually one of my true friends just recently took up letter writing again. What a beautiful lost art. I encourage you to seek His guidance as you embrace a social media fast, and direct your time in ways to stimulate the connections we so deeply need. I pray that you find His peace, and some lovely relationships, too. Shalom.
NONI F DAVIES says
So glad to have found your site! It is a lovely, restful, restorative place 🙂 And I am glad to read of your faith…most important in our lives right now!
I’m thankful it has blessed you, Noni =0)