Last month the world was filled with talk about goals & resolutions. Everywhere you turned someone was telling you how to achieve something you wanted. I don’t know if you’re a fan of resolutions and goals, but I’d like to share with you my unexpected resolution and how it can give you more time too.
On accident I committed to a social media fast.
It was never my intention to do this, I had 10 other goals written down for 2019. Adjusting my Social Media consumption was NOWHERE on that list. I did social media free weekends already, I had this down.
As we sat in the pews of a new church, listening to the pastor talk about their fasting season, I remembered this was a normal part of their community rhythm. Neat. A day or two later I was reading at home and came across the value of fasting. Cool. Then I was listening to a mentor speak about finding clarity…you guessed it…through fasting. This was getting a little creepy.
I didn’t need to fast. I had just received a vision for sharing my calling online in 2019. I was good to go.
As I journaled one morning I kept coming back to fasting and it popped into my head, social media. Ugh. No. Not again. This thought had circled in my head since we attended that church service.
I didn’t want to do this because I felt I was really healthy with this area of life.
And that thought, not wanting to give up social media for any more length of time because “I felt I had this habit/behavior under control” was my red flag. Is there ever an area of life we have truly mastered? We always have room for refinement.
Y’all, I did not go into the fast with a joyful heart. I was not excited about what I would discover. I had major fear of missing out, fear of losing touch with friends, fear of being forgotten…so many emotions pressed in on me as I deleted my social apps. And what I found during those 3 weeks is one thing everyone wants more of, TIME.
I was surprised to discover time in a new way because I’ve always been a master of time, or at least I thought I was before the fast. During the fast and my return to social media, I uncovered some key ways to make sure valuable time is not being stolen by your phone or platforms and I want to share them with you.
1. Pick when to be on:
Use the handy timers on your phone, set a schedule. The first step is to observe when you are using social platforms then ask yourself, “Do I love what I see? Is this reflective of my hopes & dreams?” If the answer is no, then I encourage you to explore setting boundaries. I did this exercise over the last six months and was NOT thrilled with what I saw, in fact, I was appalled. Each week I kept making shifts and failed over and over. When I returned to social media everything clicked; I finally found something that works for me, but it took six months of tracking, adjusting, and failing. All the time I’ve *found* has been so worth the repeated failure and frustration.
2. Decide who to follow:
Be ruthless. If they don’t bring joy, unfollow them. We were not designed to watch everyone else’s lives 24/7. Just a decade ago we had days, weeks, months in between hearing about someone else’s life journey. Today, other’s lives are practically shoved in our faces. You’re not rude to unfollow. You are wise to listen to & protect your head, heart and soul. Go, pick 5 people to mute/unfollow, and know you are still kind.
3. Name 1 or 2 relationships you truly treasure from SM:
It’s important to identify the value social media brings to your world and nurture those relationships. Are you wanting to connect? Feeling a desire to interact with another human? When we have those feelings we habitually hop on social. Instead, what if we intentionally opened up IG or FB? Send a kind/encouraging note to one of the people you’ve *met* on social and at least part of that desire will be met, if not fulfilled.
4. Identify why you use social media:
This really helps with comparison, something I live with as an enneagram 3. Remind yourself of YOUR purpose & pace. Then repeat it often ;).
5. Schedule a SM Fast:
Just see what it’d be like. Years ago I started with 24 hours, then slowly built up to Sat & Sun. Then Friday night to Monday morning. But lemme tell ya, the first year was always painful and I still live with a healthy dose of FOMO. I have to push FOMO out of my mind and reorient myself to my surroundings.
Everyone wants more time. I bet some of it is hiding in your social media hours. If one of these insights resonated with you, go do it! And let us, The WE Spot gals, know how it went.
PS – In case you’re wondering, I did honor the entire 3 week fast. I almost cracked 12 days in, but I was able to grab a book and distract myself.