There were a few things that I came to realise as I took a step back from my personal social media accounts and I thought I’d write about them here:
I didn’t miss it as much as I thought I would.
Seriously. I know I came back after six days… but that is five more days than I thought I’d manage. I wasn’t planning on deleting my accounts and could have stayed away for longer, but there are pros to being on social media (stick around to find out more).
I spent time doing other things.
This is an obvious point. If I can’t aimlessly scroll through social media, I would need to occupy myself in other ways. It gave me more time to read other things from books to blogs, and get creative in other ways. I had to deliberately search for things to read online as I couldn’t just click link after link after link which actually proved more of a challenge. It’s interesting how I take a lot of the information I receive from what I am reading through social media. I also found myself reaching for my phone out of habit and reading through the news more than I normally would.
I had more time to think for myself rather than getting inspired or irritated by what everyone else was saying or tweeting.
Social media is a great thing for getting both inspired and irritated. Trends, comments and hashtags can be interesting, informative or downright idiotic. But when the source of scrolling is stopped, the mind is free to wander for a little while. It can unsettle those who suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) too.
There are people and accounts that I genuinely missed.
I love social media for doing what it is supposed to do and facilitate social interaction. I really appreciate the community that I find in some places which encourage me as a Christian, wife, mother, friend and writer. As much as I love meeting up with people face to face and still do that with or without social media, there is something special about supporting one another from all different parts of the world and walks of life. However, I need to get better at interacting with people, rather than just reading updates and letting them pass me by without any real engagement.
Things I personally struggle with did not stop despite the absence of social media.
With all of the comparison on social media, links to poor mental health and nasty comments and trolls that often lurk there, I thought a break would lighten my load and ease my anxieties. However, I think I sometimes come to social media looking for affirmation with the rush that can happen with people ‘liking’ posts and taking the time to comment. Sometimes I go there to escape for a little while and get lost in a world of what everyone else is thinking about. Therefore, when I came off social media, I had more time in my own head. I thought more about things I struggled with and didn’t have the easy, quick way of distracting myself through social media.
It gave me time to think.
Time away gave me space to think about important decisions I have to make in life. Since returning to social media, I have had a renewed desire to pray. There have been times recently where I have approached prayer, and therefore God, with a cynical heart. This has come from a place of hurt and confusion which I am working through. Yet, I still know that I can come before God in all of my brokenness. He is gentle and speaks through His Word, reminding me that He loves, forgives and cares for me. Rather than using social media to escape, I long to read God’s Word because it is there that He speaks into every situation that I face, bringing hope, purpose and life.
You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop ; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. Psalm 18:28-33 NIV