In December, I announced my break from social media, something I had been trying to do for so long but couldn´t bring myself to commit to. But I knew that, more than ever, I needed to take the break. In a sense, SM because an idol in my life. I would wake up, grab my phone, and spend 15-20 minutes checking my notifications and scrolling aimlessly. I spent so much time getting frustrated with my kids when they required my attention but I was too focused on what to post, and when I did post, too focused on making sure I got the likes and shares I needed in order to beat Instagram’s algorithm.
When I tell you that SM became an idol to me, believe it. I spent more time on FB and IG than I did on YouVersion. I spent more time falsely interacting with random accounts more than I spent time in prayer. I spent more time telling my husband about things I saw and read on SM instead of attentively listening to him when he got home from work. It was my life. I would literally spend 6-8 hours throughout the day just scrolling, until I realized it was sucking the life out of me.
Most day’s I seemed to be extremely exhausted and couldn’t find the energy to get up and get things done around the house. Homeschool slowed down big time just because my brain couldn’t function the correct way because it always went back to “let me check my notifications”. I was sinning against God and worshipping something that was not Him.
Do not forget the covenant I made with you, and do not worship other gods. You must worship only the Lord your God. He is the one who will rescue you from all your enemies.2 Kings 17:38-39
I was trying so hard to be identified and known through SM; so not only was I idolizing something that was not God, but I was also becoming prideful and seeking identity in something that did not give me identity at all. The crazy thing is that I know my identity is in Christ. I know that being prideful is a sin and yet I fell into the trap that SM intended for me to fall in. That goes to show that I am merely human and fall short of God’s glory just like everyone else.
A social media presence does not determine who we are. Being created and breathed into by God determines who we are. Christ taking our place on the cross and offering us salvation, determines who we are. There is no reason to be ashamed of the fact that we can fall into this type of sin; idolatry. The best way to defeat it, is to recognize that we’re in it and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in taking the next step towards bettering ourselves.
That’s what I did. I prayed so hard to God because I didn’t want to be so impressed with what SM could do for my blogging ministry and completely ignore what God could do with his mighty works without me having to do a thing. I felt so strongly that the Spirit of God was moving me to get off of social media for a while, and although in previous times, I ignored what the Holy Spirit was putting in my heart to do, this time I obeyed. I took the break.
Yes, I did log on here and there to post somethings up in the Facebook Marketplace and to unfollow some accounts that were doing a great job at questioning my faith and the things that the Holy Spirit had shown me through revelations and teachings, but for the most part, I was off of it. Not only did this break help break that addiction to SM, but it also brought me back to the foundations of my faith.
This break did wonders for me! And because of that, I wanted to share with you a few things that I experienced in the midst of it.
EXPERIENCE #1: I FOUND THE JOY IN STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD
Now, don’t misinterpret this. I have always loved studying the Word. But as social media starting taking top priority in my life, reading and studying the Bible became more of a chore to me. Being off of my phone, allowed me to get back into studying the Word of God and actually enjoy it. Not only did I make time to study on my own, but I made time to study with my husband. The more I’ve read, the more the Spirit of God has revealed to me, and the more I have wanted to continue digging in.
EXPERIENCE #2: I FULLY ENJOYED CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEARS
I can’t tell you the last time I did not touch my phone to post something in the middle of Christmas time or New Years because the last time was probably before social media was even a thing. Ugh! Christmas was amazzzinnggg, ya’ll! I baked all day long. Literally, all day long. And when I did grab my phone, it was to take pictures of our kiddos. I was fully present this year and my kids loved it and so did I.
EXPERIENCE #3: I HAVE SEEN MORE ENGAGEMENT AND GROWTH ON THIS BLOG
I have not actively marketed any of my new blog posts in the last month because of the break and yet I have seen the hand of God bringing more success to this site than ever before. I used to focus so much on seeing growing numbers here and when I didn’t see it, I would change my content to what I thought the people wanted to see. But I was determined to use this SM break to seek guidance and instruction from God on what HE wanted me to write about. And it has happened that way. In obeying God and not focusing so much on what I could personally do to see the numbers go up, God has been doing his thing.
EXPERIENCE #4: MY NIGHT TIME ROUTINE HAS IMPROVED
….That is when the kids didn’t sneak into our bed lol. The truth is that before my break, I used to stay up until 11pm-12am most nights scrolling and interacting with accounts to beat IG’s algorithm. I would spend hours doing this and by the time I finally put the phone down to get some sleep, the kids were walking into my bedroom asking to cuddle. Without SM on my phone, I have witnessed myself reading scripture plans with my husband right before bed and laying down to rest instead of scroll. I’ve fallen asleep a lot earlier than normal, allowing me to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep before the kids wake up.
EXPERIENCE #5: I HAVE GAINED OVERALL PEACE
I can’t even begin to explain the overall peace I have experienced after taking this much needed break. I recognized that I was mentally exhausted and that there was too much noise in my head that didn’t allow me to hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit. Social media consumed so much of me, my thoughts, my emotions, and even my home. Since taking that break, peace have overflowed in all aspects of my life.
Will I be taking another break from the online influencer world? Definitely! I’m actually not even sure that after this post goes live on Friday (it’s Tuesday as I’m writing this out) that I will be returning to SM as I used to be. I’ve been slowly coming back these last few days, but if I’m honest, it hasn’t felt the same. And that’s a good thing. It’s not satisfying anymore. And I don’t even feel like SM is necessary in order to bring exposure to my blog. God can do that with and without marketing. In the meantime, join me on Pinterest! I’ve been enjoying sharing other blogs from other Christian writers.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve taken a break from social media lately and what you experienced if you did!