A huge part of purposeful living for me is being aware and honest with myself of the ways I waste time. And I've gotta be honest here, I have a tendency to waste a lot of time on good ol' social media. Sure its an awesome, powerful tool but sometimes there can be to much of a good thing. I am starting to see how my constant social media use has perhaps gotten a smidgen out of whack. I really don't need to be checking my e-mail or Facebook first thing in the morning, last time I checked I wasn't THAT big of a deal. I often will be watching a 30 minute show on Netflix or TV and find I just "have" scroll through Facebook to see what's new and happening...you know its bad when your husband notices it too. And apparently my addiction to tweeting and graming is even bad for my brain. Surprise, surprise.
When I am more intentional of how I use social media, I manage my time better and focus more on what truly matters...I am able to do more of what fires me up. So one action step of my third goal was once a month to have an entire weekend fasting from any social media. This past weekend was my first time doing it. I didn't flunk out but I didn't pass with flying colors either. By late Friday afternoon I was chomping at the bit and managed to wonder on Facebook twice. Saturday I did great and found the disconnect relaxing and peaceful...go figure I was able to be more present to other things I did. Sunday was good until the Super Bowl came on...and then it went downhill. I rationalized going on Instagram because while Jim was yelling at the TV I needed something to occupy my time.
Okay, so my 72 hour fast wasn't a full 72 hours, but I am REALLY glad I did it.
What did I learn???
1. Intentional significant breaks from social media are refreshing and good for my soul. I can focus more on what really matters and I was blown away just at being aware how much time I can easily waste mindlessly on social media. I need a break from the noise of the world; from being overly concerned about what others think about me, feeling like I have to keep up with others, or how many likes a picture on Instagram gets.
2. I am going to continue doing weekend media fasts...but I actually do plan to follow through for the whole 72 hours. It wasn't a total sham, but this first weekend has fueled me up to better the next time!
3. I was reminded sometime this past Saturday (the one full day I wasn't on social media) that in all the Gospel accounts it talks of Jesus going away to a quiet place. Even Jesus had to get away from all the people and noise of the world, He needed to connect with what truly mattered most, a personal relationship with His Father. We all need to re-charge our batteries. And what I've been reminded of is that constantly being connected to the world through social media can distract me from what matters most in the world. And for me that is knowing Jesus...hearing Him call me by name...allowing myself to be reminded of my dignity and worth...wasting time with Him in silence and quiet.
We all want to be a part of a community and be connected to people through meaningful relationships. But that need to always be connected to the world has started to wear on my soul a bit, and even if I don't do it perfectly, I know retreating from being SO connected actually makes my life richer and more meaningful.
What things do you do to be more intentional and focused in using social media? How do you make time for social media without allowing it to control you?
I'm all ears!