social media fast

My First Social Media Fast

social media fast affiliate disclaimer

I just finished my first social media fast.

social media fast

Honestly, a social media fast is something I have threatened my distracted soul with for years. Yet, I’ve always retracted the ultimatum because I was coming at it with the wrong motives.

Wrong motives for a social media fast:

  1. Being legalistic (“God doesn’t want idols, so He must hate XYZ.”)
  2. Being showy (“Look how inspiring this could be.”)
  3. Being temperamental (“I just scrolled for 2 hours, I need to eliminate this cold turkey.”)
  4. Being lazy (“Being kind, helpful and resourceful online is too hard, I will quit it all together.”)  

So, why have I decided to fast from social media now, you ask?

  • Because I am in a good place.
  • Because my desire to be close to God trumps my fear of sabotaging the algorithm.
  • Because I can (and should) be more intentional to build stronger face-to-face relationships.
  • Because I am doing a 30-day fitness challenge with my mom and cannot trust myself to add something to my day without subtracting something from my day.
  • Because I want to create more than I consume.

Last, but not least, social media is optional. It always has been.

Journal entries from my social media fast:

When writing this, I am on day 3, and, boy-oh-boy, have I enjoyed the break thus far. I’ve found myself grabbing my phone a lot out of pure muscle memory.

I click the app folder that used to contain FB and IG. I quickly catch myself and realize I am subconsciously spending the free 15-second stop light pause to scroll.

Stepping away from social media for the FIRST TIME in 16 years (I joined FB in 2005) has surfaced several bad habits.

social media fast

Day 0:

The night before I deleted the apps.

I hit submit on my last FB and IG post at 9:45pm. Not 5 minutes later, I had the itch to see it’s noise. I logged back on (because it wasn’t May 1st yet, right? :)) and scrolled a bit more. Then I deleted the apps.

By 11pm, the movie I was watching ended. And guess what? I grabbed my phone. I justified my need to see FB and IG one more time. I wound up re-downloading the apps (Am I not ridiculous?) to get one last hit before bed.

It was just that. Another hit. A jolt of conditioned dopamine. A shot of endorphins when my eyes catch something visually appealing. Whether it’s something you’ve posted (you guys share awesome stuff) or my ego feeling validated with new likes and comments, I couldn’t not see it one last time.

And I was reminded how desperately I needed this fast.

Day 1:

I bet you can guess what day 1 looked like. I woke up and grabbed my phone. Habit.

I spent most of the day enjoying the space I’ve created.

By night time of day 1, I had solo mom duty and I laid in the room with my kids until they fell asleep. This has notoriously been the time I go numb and spend 1-2 hours on my phone.

You know what I did instead? My mind was so used to absorbing content during these hours, I ended up scrolling google (Yes, you read that right). I opened up my browser and scrolled through trending articles and topics to “stay in the know”)

Kinda funny. Kinda boring. Kinda eye opening that this was the first time I’ve read the “news” in years.

By end of week 1:

I was very intentional this first week. It was freeing not to rely on my phone for my social connections. I journaled more, I worked out more, and I read 8 chapters of an actual book.

These past 16 years, I have rewired my mind to grab my phone during any still moment. I still looked for it and opened my email to see if anything exciting was happening. Old habits die hard. I was still searching for something to distract me and remove me from reality.

Week 2:

The enemy is very sly. During a month when I wanted to decrease distractions, I was thrown a curve ball with some health issues which led me to spending hours on google (always a bad idea). My doctors were scratching their heads and my new wonky white blood count numbers had me in a tizzy (coming from a girl whose dad had leukemia). The freedom I felt in week one was smothered by my new obsession to self-diagnose my ailments. By the end of that week, I had adjusted my ways and got back to the book I was reading. Sorta.

Side Note: My reading list during my social media fast

reading list during my social media fast
reading list during my social media fast
reading list during my social media fast
reading list during my social media fast
reading list during my social media fast

Week 3:

This specific week, we were on our last stretch of the homeschool year. We hit some bumps in the road and this momma was getting worn down with resurfaced attitude and aggression issues with the kiddos.

Lord, help me. I was counting down the days until my next doctor appointment because I was combating week 6 of nausea and fatigue.

My hopes of losing 5 lbs during this fast were quickly fading and my guilt from yet another fallen goal was disheartening.

Alas, one can only do what one is able. And I decided that my joy comes not from my ambitions but from a quiet heart working in the trenches discipling her children.

Week 4:

By this point, the habit of grabbing my phone had beautifully ceased. A fresh breath of relief fell upon me when my newest white blood count showed in normal range. I was sent for further tests but I still felt so free.

My morning bible studies stretched for hours and, to my surprise, I counted that I had journaled almost everyday in May.

I had found myself praying scripture over Nick and the kids — very specific scripture for each of their needs and personalities. I felt like God met with me each morning to have a special conversation.

As silly or unnatural as this may sound, as I journaled, I’d write a question for God and leave the next few lines blank (so I could fill them in when I felt the answer). I felt like I could almost have back and forth conversations with the Creator of the Universe.

My kids finished their school year and we headed to my mom’s (Nana’s) to celebrate. We ended the month spending quality time with my brother and his family, whom we’ve not seen in almost 4 years. It was absolutely refreshing.

I never once missed the stressful feeling of having to be “on” for more likes and comments on social media.

When the fast was over:

I was not eager to jump back on. June 1st came and went. I finally re-downloaded FB and IG on my phone not out of need but out of preventing this fast from becoming legalistic (as to pretend that social media is bad in and of itself, rather it was the way I misused it that made it an idol).

I logged in and loved seeing your smiling faces. Instead of going to my profiles for validation, I scrolled and saw some of your highlights and it made me so happy.

That is the part I missed. I missed the community and experiencing your stories with you.

While I was away, my family had a full May. Here are some highlights:

I considered this social media fast a tithe of my time and attention.

10% of my year (roughly 36 days) social media free. It’s the least I can do.

If you’ve ever considered taking a break from social media, I encourage you to go for it. It was not as scary as it sounds and the 40-Day Social Media Fast was a great resource to help me remain focused and steadfast.

IDEA: Most of my mom friends are wrapping up their school season right now and diving into summer fun/chaos. I want to help us stay undistracted by the noise all around us (and enjoy these little years with our littles).

I will be sharing an announcement about a Summer Bible Study I am hosting online —- make sure you are on our LFLS newsletter list to stay in the know.

(Fun Fact: While OFF social media this month, our newsletter email list has increased by 5% organically. What!?! More the the merrier! Thank you guys!)

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