Last Monday, I decided to do something that I ended up enjoying more than I anticipated: I took a week off of social media. I deleted the apps and disconnected my accounts from my phone: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I wouldn’t call myself a social media addict, but I was on them a lot.
I learned a few important things during my hiatus that I decided to pass on… And of course since I’m a pastor, I figured I’d alliterate.
Without social media…
I’m more productive
During my week off, I found that my study time was more productive and happened quicker. During times when I may have normally been browsing my Instagram feed or checking Twitter, I read instead – sometimes my Bible, sometimes a book. It felt like I had more time and that my time was less divided.
I’m more prayerful
I also found it much easier to continue a prayerful conversation with God throughout the day when it was not punctuated and interrupted by social media. During times when I may have normally been browsing social media, I found myself talking to God (and man did He answer prayer this week!
). It was refreshing and powerful.
I’m more present
In an attempt to be connected with thousands of friends and acquaintances on social media, I can become disconnected with the people who matter most. Since my study time was more productive, I had more time to play with my daughters (Barbies, “sassy stamps,” princess puzzles, and some time on my skateboard while they rode scooters). I took pictures and videos simply to remember the moment instead of tell the world. I also hung out with my wife, spent multiple evenings praying together with her, and enjoyed some extra time with the Lord.
Don’t hear me wrong: I’m not anti-social media. I’m not saying you should delete your accounts and go back to flip phones.
Social media can be a great tool, if used in moderation. It’s a great way to connect, however, our desire to connect can actually cause us to disconnect. And after a week off, surprisingly, I don’t feel near as disconnected as I thought I would. Sure, I don’t know what your latte looked like yesterday or what you were griping about on Facebook the other day, but I’m ok with that. Also, I didn’t get “poked” and I didn’t get any invitations to play Bubble Safari, so that’s great!
I’ll probably be back on social media (in moderation) soon. I don’t know when. However, I look forward to enjoying less time on social media outlets and more time with my family, good books, and real flesh-and-blood friends!