It was a rainy Saturday afternoon in the mountains of North Carolina. As my kids jumped into the indoor pool of the hotel we were staying in, I took a boomerang on my phone. It was so cute! I posted it to my Instagram feed. About 5 minutes later I began thinking of the perception of that post and fretting a bit about what others would think.
- What mom would allow their kids to jump in a pool during a pandemic?
- Would others judge the kids and I traveling with my husband for a work trip that we could
make a fun family weekend out of?
- Could this make others feel disheartened because they’re not physically or financially able
to take a trip like this?
The steam of the pool room started to overwhelm my mind. What was the point of posting anything anyway? It’s a family trip, and I’m inviting the world into it. Is that the right thing to do?
In addition to questioning my posts, I also inhaled the news of the world, the posts of the get togethers I wasn’t invited to, and a picture of a beautiful kitchen that my friend had just finished remodeling. My heart and my mind were sick, and it was because I drank too much social media.
That night I deleted the social media apps off of my phone.
It’s officially been two weeks and here’s what I’ve learned:
1. It was an obstruction to living an abundant life in Christ. Clearing my mind of all that was coming into it from that screen opened margin for me to actually accept the peace of the Lord that He promises to give. I wasn’t able to fully embrace Him prior to that because I was too distracted by what I was taking in and putting out within a false platform of reality.
2. I didn’t think social media was a problem. I thought everyone did it, it was my source of news and family updates and I legitimately had a fear of missing out. I had convinced myself that if I didn’t have social media, I would be an alien in outer space. After two weeks off, I can say that was not the truth. I asked a trusted friend to let me know of anything I couldn’t find out outside of social media, and there were none she deemed worthy enough to inform me about. I felt so much freedom, and that I got my life back and I didn’t realize I was missing it.
3. A decrease in anxiety. Sometimes I would put the phone down after a long scroll and my brain would feel different. The amount of information I was absorbing was overwhelming, and my real life started to seem like something was wrong. Reality without a screen wasn’t as stimulating as it was on a screen. When I put the screen down, the low grade anxiety I experienced drastically decreased. It was replaced with freedom, mental margin, and less stress. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t invited somewhere because I was so confidently rooted in the life God gave me.
4. I forgot about social media. Prior to detoxing, I would position the camera on my phone to make it post worthy. I would think more about posting about our day then how I would incorporate the love and quality time my kids needed in it. About a week into the detox, social media became an afterthought. I didn’t miss it, I rarely thought of it, and I was able to be fully present wherever I was.
5. The addiction of social media. I would be at lunch with a group of moms when someone's apple watch would go off and the conversation would hault. They would stop what they were doing to check it and would lose their train of thought. It got me wondering what the big picture affect on our relationships had become, because we’ve accepted it as a norm even though it's interrupting our real lives.
If you are cringing as you read this, I was too. I almost couldn’t bear to read articles like this because the thought of quitting was too daunting. Sweet sister, this is a major red flag. Our hearts and minds need to be solely focused on the Lord and our families. We have a very real enemy that seeks to distract us from our loving Father, and social media is a huge temptation for women.
The very words of Jesus, that physically came out of His mouth in John 10:10, were
"The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.
I came so that they may have life and life abundantly.”
The enemy will seek to steal our joy, kill our spark for the Lord, and destroy our family, marriage, and friendships. We have to suit up everyday to fight this battle. If social media is detracting more from your life than adding, it’s time to take a break.
Take the challenge – two weeks off. You can do it. You’ll be restless for the first few days realizing how quickly you’d picked up the phone to scroll, but find something else to do that brings you closer to the Lord and builds the relationships within the family most of us prayed for for so long!