I get excited about the opportunity it presents to connect with people and rally them around a single purpose. It is an amazing tool for business owners and organizations to grow a community and spread a message.
With that being said, I also REALLY enjoy my breaks from social media.
A Dangerous Combination: Our Hungry Souls + Social Media
Have you ever been tempted to post something just for the response you might get? You know– for the likes and the comments, for the purpose of creating that online version of yourself that you want everyone to adore. Our souls crave affirmation and validation, and unfortunately social media can be a nice temporary fix for that deep need.
I’ve learned to recognize this behavior and tendency in my own life. Here’s a common scenario that maybe you can relate to: On a down day, maybe when I’m tired, bored, or feeling weak, I often find myself drifting to social media. Harmless, right?
So I scroll and scroll and scroll until my mind is total mush from all of the information I take in. I see everyone’s perfectly crafted & curated images of their amazing lives. “Oh look, so-and-so is on vacation again, and so-and-so got a huge promotion, and oh wow, look at what a good mom so-and-so is…”
I was already in a tired and vulnerable place to begin with, so now my life feels like a total loss and social media confirms it- everyone else has a beautiful life and I suck.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
When I do this, I’m comparing my behind-the-scenes, my raw moments of weakness with everyone else’s highlight reels. It’s not fair but I do it all the time. When will I ever learn? Instagram is not real life. The red flag I look for after spending time on social media is the state of my joy. If my scrolling ends in hopelessness and I feel that I’ve lost joy, I know I need to make some changes.
I’ve walked through this scenario more times than I would like to admit, which is why I’ve learned to put boundaries in place. And when it’s hard to honor those boundaries is exactly when I know I really need to do a complete social media detox and delete the apps on my phone.
Sabbath Rest: Do More Things That Make You Forget to Look at Your Phone
Max Lucado’s daughter Andrea Lucado has written blogs about weekend social media fasts and all of the benefits of deleting apps for two consecutive days. Many of us do business on social media and have to interact for our jobs, but the weekend is a great time to give yourself a break. Andrea addresses fighting FOMO (Fear of Missing Out – anyone relate?) and pushing through to really recharge and rejuvenate over the weekend.
I try to detox as often as I can because I love how I feel after a weekend of real rest – life-giving Sabbath rest. While our hungry souls crave affirmation and validation from external sources like social media and the approval of people, what we really need is time spent with our Creator. We need to learn to put our phones down and enjoy the quiet long enough to remember who we are and who we belong to.
So now my goal every weekend is to do things that make me forget to look at my phone- to throw myself into fun activities with my kids and to enjoy my family. It’s funny how something as simple as deleting your social media apps can feel like going camping, like you’re getting all primal and going off the grid. I love weekends without social media because it reminds me of what being a kid was like, just living in the moment – not worrying about who knows about what you’re doing, or knowing what everyone else is doing.
Just be a Kid Again
Wouldn’t that do us all some good? Even just for a couple of days, learn to be a kid again. Live in the moment. Our core identity as believers is that we are children of God and that is our anchor in this crazy life. The thousands of other voices we encounter on social media cannot speak into our life like the voice of a Father. Although we might at times allow them to, they can’t tell us who we are. Our identity is in the One that calls us by name.