This weekend was an opportunity for me to catch up with myself after walking through a valley period for the past few weeks. My mind felt saturated with thoughts and experiences and my heart needed time to sift through all of the emotions. One thing I did was to withdraw from social media; I hopped on strictly for business purposes and then hopped right back off. I did not check notifications or scroll news feeds; I was pleasantly surprised by the effect this small change had on my state of mind.
My reflex in quiet moments was to reach for my phone; my thumb got into scrolling posture and I had to actively seek an alternative. Instead of perusing the happenings of others, I listened to podcasts and learned some incredible facts about how to cultivate a healthy mindset. I read several chapters in a beloved book and was reminded of how much rich information my mind can absorb from real pages in a relatively short amount of time. I carried on longer conversations with my husband and we covered some new topics. I observed my children at play and realized how unconcerned they are with what the happenings on Facebook and Instagram.
As Sunday drew to a close, I reflected on my weekend without social media. One truth I gained was that I enjoyed my own life more without the subtle pressure of feeling that it is only good if it can be shared in some way with other people. I was subconsciously measuring the quality of my life by the number of ‘likes’ my status updates received. I discovered that I interactions with individuals can be more meaningful than mass approval or generic comments. More than anything, my mind felt renewed.
2 Corinthians 10:5 declares, “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Nobody can deny the power of the mind. Our lives are controlled by it. The Bible also commands that we should not be “conformed…but transformed by the renewing of our minds.” Immersion in social media consumed my thoughts: “What am I going to post next?” “This picture is Instagram worthy.” ” Will people agree with me?” “Ooo, how many likes did that post get? Did anyone comment?” And then there is all the trending gossip that quickly idle away hours of my time – time that could have been spent filling my mind with life-changing knowledge, interacting with real life, or joining in with the imaginings of my children.
There is an almost 4-year old in our house who is experiencing a surge in brain power. He questions concepts and challenges ideas all throughout the day. It’s exhausting! It’s also a reminder to me that I need to be engaged with my world at all times; I cannot zone out or allow my own mind to slip into stagnancy. There are answers to his questions and fresh problems and puzzles for him to solve. As long as I am feeding my mind with rich knowledge and listening for God to speak His wisdom and truth into my life, I can do the same for my boy. Social media may just have to take a back seat in my day.
What percentage of your day is influenced by social media? Are you willing to take on the challenge of a day without it? What are some things that you would like to do but feel like you don’t have enough time for them?