Another participant’s testimonial about living without social media
I’m so thankful for the completion of the 7 Day Christ-Centered and Media Free Challenge. It was a blessing all around and I am glad to present to you another participant’s testimonial about the challenge.
Thank you so much for taking us on the social media challenge.
I had a lot of people tell me they saw your post about the challenge on my newsfeed. I shared it a few times and encouraged others to sign up. Most of my friends seemed wistful about the challenge like they wanted to join us but didn’t have the courage. That made me sad, but you know what? I found hope through your challenge.
Even though the challenge began on a Sunday, I deleted the Twitter and Facebook apps off my phone that Saturday night before the challenge started — I didn’t even want to be tempted to scroll.
When I woke up Sunday morning to fix coffee, I read my Bible study, and prayed, and noticed how I felt anxious, like I was missing something.
I wanted social media.
I wasn’t willing to do anything to get it, but I noticed the absence of it. I also thought that not knowing what someone had posted the night before might make me less socially capable. Like I wouldn’t have a starting point for conversations.
Once I got back to my laptops (plural because of one at home and one at work), I purposefully logged off of Twitter and Facebook. Once I logged off, it was easier to tell myself no.
I also noticed how much I picked up my phone to do the mindless scroll. That was a lot of time wasted that I had justified because it was ‘social’.
I found, too, that I replaced the mindless scrolling through social media with obsessively checking my email. I should have been more focused on Christ-centeredness. And while that did cross my mind, I didn’t get the feeling with reading scripture that I had when I saw how many likes or comments I had. I realize that sounds a bit narcissistic, but I am simply being honest. Replacing one channel with another is not the same as replacing a channel with a deeper walk with Jesus. I honestly think I could have focused more on that part.
I had never thought that RSS feeds and news sites were considered social media. I already have a habit of staying away from television, but I do get news feeds from several sources. The only RSS is from Christian feeds, like the Chuck Swindoll daily devotion. That actually made me feel pretty good. I do have them, but at least they are not trashy.
I also never noticed how much my family was affected. I have a husband and one teenager and one three-year-old in the house. The husband and the teen didn’t take the challenge with me. The three-year-old does not own a phone, so she is exempt. It wasn’t until I put down my own phone with its apps that I noticed what the cell phone social media world had done to my family. I mourned for that.
I discovered how I could play with the little one without being interrupted or distracted. I didn’t miss things like I think I have been missing them. I got down on my stomach on the floor and played Peppa Pig. We read a lot more books. I had more real conversations. I prayed more.
I have turned back on the social media channels, and I also discovered something else. The world didn’t really miss me. I talked to the people who were really important to me. The rest, while they are important, are also full of a lot of noise. This helped me to prioritize.
One last thing…I am planning a deliberate social media time that includes email checking. Instead of random and way-too-often check-ins with my phone, I will set aside two deliberate times a day. I will set a timer and I will, by the Grace and help of God, stay within those boundaries. The only beck and call I need to be bound by is that of God’s will in my life. This is just what I needed, just when I needed it.
So thankful to read the struggles and triumphs of others. Reading the testimonials brought me to the confession of sins to others. What a lovely accountability group you have given us! And you know, I would be willing to do a deeper challenge some other time as well. God has given me a surprising season of sweetness because you listened to His leading, you were well prepared, and He had already been working on my heart. My biggest prayer is that this is not the end.
So, again, thank you.
In His Grip,