“Did you see what I posted on Facebook today?” My husband looked at me expectantly, smiling.
“No, honey, I didn’t,” I said, my stomach beginning to tie itself in a tight knot.
“Oh you’d love it! Here, let me pull it up and show you!” He was so excited and I didn’t want to crush that excitement so I took a deep breath, smiled, and said, “Ok.”
As the meme appeared on his phone screen, he could tell I was less than amused.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. “You usually love stuff like this!”
He’s right. I usually do. So, I paused and thought for a moment before saying, “I just can’t bring myself to check Facebook right now, I’m not really sure why…”
I didn’t know then, but I do know now. While social media is an excellent tool for connecting with others, it can also lend itself to judgment, feelings that we are “lesser than” others, and, the classic thief of joy: comparison.
Judging ourselves through the lens of others’ achievements, thoughts, and opinions has become a norm in our culture, and it sneaks up on us in deceptive or seemingly unobtrusive ways, like scrolling through your Facebook feed. But lately, as I’ve been working to embrace this season of honoring the soul, I’m realizing I need to step back from social media every now and then to remember why I’m there to begin with, which is to connect with others in a meaningful way. Perhaps you feel this way, too?
If you think you might need to take a beat from social media, here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Say ‘no’ to social media for one week. If there are people who will worry about you if you suddenly disappear from Facebook (or Twitter, Instagram, etc.), let everyone know with a direct message or a status update. Keep it simple: Taking the week off! or Unplugging for a bit – hope you have a great week! Then unplug!
- Grab a journal and write once a day about how you feel. No need to wax poetic (although feel free if so inspired!) just make sure to check in each day with yourself and see how you’re feeling. You may be surprised to see the difference in what you wrote about on Monday to what you write about on Sunday.
- Make a plan for easing your way back into social media. This can be as detailed as a day-by-day plan of what you’d like to do for the week you return to the online world or as simple as checking your various newsfeeds to see what interests you and going from there.
- Finally, if you need more time – take it. You will never look back and say “Oh man, I wish I’d been checking my Facebook feed on October 14th,” but you will look back and say “I wish I’d spent the afternoon with my children, enjoying that beautiful fall day.” Trust me.
Let me close by saying this: social media can be an incredible blessing. I have met some of the dearest friends of my life through blogs, Facebook, and other social media outlets, and I am so thankful! I also believe life is best when it’s in balance, and sometimes, social media can tip that balance. So, trust your soul, friend. If He’s calling you to step away for a bit, take the time to do so. We’ll be here when you come back :)
Father, help us to quiet the noise around us and within us so that we may listen to You.