Hellllllo Frens!!! Did you miss me?? I have spent the last 30 days on a social media detox and fast; to enjoy new mom life with Baby Seis, self care, and spend more time in prayer listening for God to give me clarity on my next steps for 2018.
Why I chose to fast?
As a christian I have learned the value and power of fasting and praying. I only began fasting 6 years ago and the spiritual growth I’ve experienced during those times is indescribable. So I continue to fast and pray when I feel far from God, or when there is a weighing topic that I feel like I am not hearing him on clearly.
In this case I needed to fast for both reasons. I felt far from God, wanted to tighten our relationship and had a number of weighing topics that I needed his direction and clarity on.
If you have never fasted before and want to learn more about fasting, praying and its effectiveness in your spiritual walk check out this awesome fasting guide.
However I will tell you I didn’t learn how to fast from any resource online I learned directly from the Holy Spirit, leading me daily back in 2013.
Why I chose to fast from Social Media?
I chose social media because I’m nursing and can’t fast from food. I also felt I needed a voluntary off the grid experience and man what an experience it’s been! You honestly don’t realize how connected you are to these apps until you decide to put them down or turn them off.
The first week it was like going through withdrawal from a drug, I was looking to check feeds that weren’t even there because I deleted all the apps off my phone (addicted much) but by the second week it was much easier to forget about them like they never even existed to begin with! I had one or two moments like “oh let me go on facebook and look for”, then remembered oh yeah I don’t have social media right now.
I will admit that fasting from food is way more effective than fasting from social media but thankfully God honors your commitment in whatever you abstain from.
Why do I say fasting from food is more effective?
Food is an innate NEED. It’s bigger than a desire, a want, we literally need it to survive, so that physical loss of food while fasting makes you tune into God much faster because you are starving and need God to sustain you through prayer and his word since you can’t eat. You are filling yourself up with him instead of filling your belly with food. It is such a powerful spiritual experience but because social media because is something you added to you life and not a need required for your survival you quickly learn to adjust and live without it.
Here are the steps I took in my fast
First I decided how long I wanted to fast and went with 30 days.
Not that I wanted to put a limit on God, but I was hoping that after getting in tune with him for the entire month, especially the first month of the year, he’d honor that by answering a few pressing questions I have in my life, about my business, this platform I’ve created, and my next steps for 2018.
Next I decided which apps to fast from
This was pretty easy I picked IG, since it’s where I was spending the majority of my time online, followed by facebook, messenger, Twitter, pinterest and snapchat… (reading this list back in black and white I now see I have too many to begin with)
I kept youtube, although I stayed logged out of my personal channel so I wouldn’t be tempted to read or respond to video comments.
Also kept LinkedIn, which if you are not careful, can be used as a type of social media.
Then I deleted all the apps from my phone and logged out of everything on my computer as well. This was better than just logging out and expecting to trust myself to not log back in. I’m sure I would have failed if I went that way, but by deleting the apps all together I became mindful of the moments I was looking for them and they weren’t there and mindful of how I wanted to log in (for no reason) but couldn’t. I was able to hold myself accountable.
Below are all the lessons I learned from my time offline in case you have considered going dark for a period of time too but start to itch just at the thought of it lol
- Without social media I freed myself from the pressure to post. What does that mean? When you have a growing platform, like I do you are constantly told by marketing experts that consistency is key and to establish your position in the market it’s only secured by being online engaging with your audience on a regular basis which translates into once a day at a minimum but multiple times a day is even better. So since you get the feeling your audience is expecting you to post, you look for things to share even when you don’t necessarily have anything to post about… it was nice to have 30 days where I didn’t have to think about any of that and going forward I will have to decide how/when I want to engage with you guys.
- I used up my time in other ways. I guess we are in an age where we are just constantly looking for something to do. For example, since I wasn’t on social media I checked my email a lot more. I caught myself after the second week and realized I was replacing the social media fixation with an email fixation so I made it productive and actually cleaned out my inbox!
- I took almost no selfies, outfit pics or plate pics. I’ve said it so many times, vanity and selfishness are now the new biggest idols in the world. We have become an all about me, let me put myself up on a pedestal, let me show the world how great I am, and my life is society. With no social media I had no place to display the highlight reel of my life so I took way fewer pics of it period!
- The photos I did take I shared them directly with my family and friends via text! (Before I would feel like if I post a cute pic of the kids on social media my family members/friends would be ok to see it there, (and sometimes they would chew me out for not sharing with them directly) but now I finally see and understand why I should still send it to them directly, in case they aren’t on line for an extended period of time like me and because I want to make sure they see, not just hope I see!
- I spent much more time watching TV, which is something I never ever do… typically when my kids watch TV, I go to another room or something, but since laying in bed scrolling through my phone wasn’t an option, I just plopped down in the family room with them. The blessing is I was able to see what my kids are watching firsthand, what they are interested in now at 15, 13, 9 and 5 and spent unlimited amounts of time just talking to them even more than I usually do about all kinds of stuff. Now we have “our favorite shows” that we look forward to watching together every week. Who knew watching TV could be a parent child bonding experience? (It was hilarious though to watch them all scroll through their phones during commercials while I sat there twiddling my thumbs)
- There were very few people I needed to connect with from social media who’s info I didn’t already have. In fact only 3 people I had to quickly log on to ask them to send me their contact info so we could stay in touch during my fast. The reverse was true too, there were very few people who truly needed to get in touch with me who didn’t already have my info offline.
- I enjoyed being fully present, and going places with no evidence or proof. Don’t think I sat in the house for 30 days on my hands! I went to dinner, lunch, drinks out with friends, the park, still looked cute and everything but just took no pics to prove it!!
- The most important accomplishment of this fast is I committed to a daily bible reading plan so that I can read the entire bible in 2018. I’ve never read the entire book cover to cover and want to be able to say I’ve read every single word and verse while highlighting areas I want to study more in depth. Last year I studied King David, I’ve also been studying Jeremiah since September with my church, but I still need to commit to daily reading and prayer outside of that for myself.
- Lastly one of the biggest lessons I learned is that it’s ok to unplug. We don’t need to be plugged as much as we are and we can definitely find more fulfilling things with our time. We all may already know that but it’s nice to hear someone admit it to you out loud! (and truthfully when you do unplug, you don’t miss much. I logged back in yesterday to the IG algorithm showing me posts from mid January. All my social media peeps still posting cute babies, workout pics and plates of vegan food.)
By the way, if you’re curious about whether God answered any of my questions for 2018, I’ll share with you that the biggest one. It was on whether this is the year I’ll be going back to work. I’ve been home with my little ones for 3 years already,but the Lord made a huge revelation to me on that very topic. His answer, maybe…
Have you ever considered a social media fast or do you itch just at the thought of it? Tell me what you think the biggest obstacle will be for you in the comments below?