Starting Saturday, Sept. 16th, I'm taking a break from Instagram and Facebook, and I wanted to briefly share why I'm giving myself this challenge. I recently listened to a couple podcasts by a pastor/author who I highly respect, and I was challenged by his commendation to think more intentionally about how we use our phones. I won't dive into the details here (you can listen his two-part series here: Part 1 and Part 2), but he basically lays out several reasons why we default to our phones: We have these cravings inside us for what's new. What's pretty. What's entertaining. What feeds our egos. And we want an avenue that allows us to avoid responsibility, hardship, and boredom. BUT, he says, there's a better way to spend our time and much better things to set our minds on. (You just gotta listen to the podcast for yourself. It's such good stuff.)
AN HONEST ASSESSMENT & FIGHTING FOR BETTER THINGS
I realized it's time I take an honest assessment on how much time I spend on my phone - social media, specifically - and the possible implications of giving in to the constant pull to entertainment, mindless scrolling, watching other peoples' lives through their social feeds, spiraling in and out of discontentment and comparison, checking my followers, likes, and mentions, and always defaulting to my screen rather than other things that are much more real than the virtual world I can so easily get sucked into.
Our phones are amazing and so incredibly useful and helpful, and even social media has it's place and many wonderful qualities of it's own. But it's way too easy to cross the line between letting my phone work for me and letting my phone rule me. It's a lifelong fight for balance that will probably only get more difficult to manage as time goes on in this fast-paced, high tech world, so sometimes I just have to put limits on myself and form new and better habits, in order to fight for the better things: being more present, thinking of others more than myself, and directing my worship and affections towards the good God who made me rather than the superficial, passing things of this world.
DON'T GET ME WRONG
I don't write this post to toot my own horn and make you think, "Wow, Rebekah really has it all together! How disciplined and mature she is! How noble!" NOPE. Neither do I write it to preach at you and make you think you should do the same. We are all in different places and struggle with different temptations, and this is one of mine. On the contrary, I know that sharing this exposes my own weakness, selfishness, pride, and self-centeredness, but also in hopes that by forcing limits on my life, the Lord will use it to change me and make me a person who loves Him more and loves other people more than myself. And I write in hopes to encourage and challenge anyone else that finds yourself in the same boat as me.
BUSINESS AS USUAL
I'll still be blogging a bit, sending my email newsletters, and doing good work for my lovely clients. I mean, I still have a business to run. Just no Instagram and no Facebook. And I believe it can be done. After all, for a looooong time, people have been running successful businesses without it.
SOME GOALS I'M HOPING TO ACCOMPLISH (In no particular order)
I made a list of reasons why I believe this will be good for me, as well as some things I'd like to accomplish. I'm not setting any hard and fast rules, and I don't expect this to fix all my problems. But I do want to work on training my mind, my default habits, and my affections to reach for and desire better things. And for me, cutting out some of the distractions - like Instagram and Facebook - is a fine place to start.
Get more work done by reducing distractions throughout the day
Read more actual books - like real pages that are filled with wonderful stories and truths
Reduce the amount of mindless noise around me
Remove the temptation to aimlessly browse
Give myself the opportunity to think and just "be" in moments where I would normally run to my phone for a quick fix of entertainment
Force myself to find other creative ways to market my business, and prove that a social media feed is NOT the end-all-be-all to success. I really believe I don't "need" it as much as I think.
Find inspiration, creativity, and ideas in new ways, rather than on a screen
Be more present with my husband by spending less time looking at my phone
Be a better friend. Not just a friend who "likes" and comments on your posts, but who actually shows up. Calls you. Loves you. In real life.
Fight the comparison game and choose to be more content with who I am, where I'm at, and the life God has graciously given me
Remove unnecessary anger and despair from my mind. More often than not, I leave my social media feeds feeling angry, frustrated, discouraged, and critical of others and the world. I don't want to live that way.
Fill my mind more with God's Truth and words that matter, rather than the plethora of varying opinions around me. There's a lot of noise out there with all kinds of "wisdom", advice, and worldviews that are straight up tainted with human error and faulty opinion. I need to fill my mind more with what's true, honorable, and right, so that I can identify and call out faulty logic and error when I see it. I need wisdom!
Set up my mornings to be refreshing, edifying, slow, and not wasteful.
Fight the need for an "escape" from responsibility. Put that dang phone down and do the laundry. Plan good, healthy meals. Meditate on God's Word. Organize those receipts. Put those boxes away, finally. Stay on task. Be productive. Follow through. Hug my husband. Love my neighbors.
I imagine this list could go on forever, but let's just start here. If you'd like to join the challenge with me, by all means, come 'on. Feel free to leave a comment on how you'll spend these next 30 days.
Ok, bye Social Media. See ya on the flip side.