For the entire month of July, I challenged myself to a social media fast. I knew that it would be beyond difficult for me, but I quickly realized it was more mental toughness than anything else.
Below are my weekly journals about the experience. As usual, some epiphanies took place and I love when I have ones that are life-changing. As you read, I am thankful for having this month to myself and arriving at some great conclusions. Enjoy!
July 9, 2014
I am one week into my social media fast and feel so liberated already. I really do not text all that much, so that has been the biggest adjustment thus far: there is no reason to pick up my phone. My iPhone’s purpose is not being fulfilled, but it feels so good to not be so concerned about who is tweeting and instead enjoying what those around me are saying and doing. However, when you are the only one of your friends fasting from social media, you quickly notice how much time your friends spend with their faces in their phones. I used to look like that—probably even worse!
A lot of my conversation is typically driven by what people are saying on Twitter or Facebook, so because of the fast that has drastically changed. I have been reading more and that is really what I should be keeping up with: the stuff that actually matters. This is not saying that what my friends have to say is not important (because I value the opinions and jokes of my friends), but I should be more concerned about the bigger world around me rather than the immediate.
When I first thought about fasting from social media, I was not quite sure I would be able to function without it. That is sad. I mean, that thought really crossed my mind. That in and of itself means that it was TOO big a part of my life. I have not broken yet to check either Twitter or Facebook and I have to admit that I am quite proud of myself. Let’s see how the rest of the time goes!
July 15, 2014
I just so happen to be reading the story of Esther in my Bible app. In the story, she goes on a fast to have God move on her behalf. The story was unfamiliar to me, so finding out that a significant part of the story was that she fasts was definitely one of those God ordained happenstances. This 10-day daily devotion on the story of Esther has really been encouragement to me while abstaining from social media.
Another thing that this fast has freed me up to do, is reach out to people that I genuinely care about because I cannot connect with them on the social media front and vice versa. It is interesting to see who I text/converse with often by looking at my most recent text messages. Texting is definitely more intimate than a public conversation anytime.
July 29, 2014
This past Sunday The Lord woke me up at 3:33 am and spoke about 4 pages full of notes to me about By Faith. He was talking about the importance of worship and prayer. It was absolutely awesome! I was beginning to think my fast was something I wanted and not a “me and God thing,” but the way He spoke was confirmation it was indeed a “me and God thing.” At the beginning of last week He also spoke to me about some personal things I was really seeking Him about on my way to work.
Some pretty cool things have happened while on this fast, but my social media fast has inspired some other people to fast from it as well. One friend told me yesterday he went on a five day social media fast. Another one is considering doing it for a week in August. This is what I LOVE to do: inspire people to think differently, change old habits and simply be a better person as a whole. It is one of my favorite things about being Elise. I have lots of passions, but at the core is inspiring people. By them telling me that they either went on a fast or are even considering doing one too, was encouraging for me.
Now I’m just trying to figure out how I am not going to become as dependent on it again when it is technically time to break the fast this Thursday at midnight. I have enjoyed not feeling obligated to say something, “like” something or know exactly what everyone is doing or saying. Yes, I have a heart for sharing with people what is on my mind, but there has been a freeing feeling that came with doing this fast. I realized how much I relied on something that I really do not need. Now that the pattern of behavior has changed, I think it is important to map out a game plan in order for it to change back.