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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

unplugged | a social media fast


This past friday marked the end of my two - week social media fast. Those two weeks were challenging yet so rewarding. But I'll be completely honest - I didn't walk away from the fast with a desire to permanently cut the cord. 

I choose to abstain from social media out of a desire to refocus on my walk with God and spend more time offline with my family. The rules weren't complicated. I logged out of Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter and couldn't log back on until the fast was over. 

Some days were easier than others. I checked my email up to five times a day hoping for something more exciting than an sale at Office Depot. I stared at my phone screen wishing I could scroll through a newsfeed. I even downloaded a few old school apps (words with friends, anyone?) to find a way to burn time. 

But after the initial boredom passed, I decided to take advantage of living a social media free life. I found satisfaction and contentment with living in the moment. That was a difficult lesson to learn.  Taking break freed me from sharing every moment and freed to me to enjoy them. Some of the greatest moments in my life don't have an Instagram photo or a Facebook status, but I still remember them. I remember the belly laughs and warm feelings fondly because I was living fully in the moment. It is such a simple lesson: presence can be the best gift to loved ones.

Eliminating Facebook and Instagram also eliminated a huge source of comparison in my life. Comparison is an unwinnable game. When every social media account is filled with people sharing the best of their lives, it is so easy to feel like my summer is incredibly uninspiring. Feeling okay with  long nights spent on physics passages or extra verbal passage brings me so much joy. Not because studying for the MCAT is enjoyable, but because I'm pursuing what I want. Breaking from insecurity gave me more time to focus on my life and my path.

These little life lessons were nice and needed, but fasting to reconnect with God taught me the most. Fabs from Thoughts from Fabs has this to say about fasting:
Physical desires seemingly terminate on physical things. And that’s the beauty of fasting. God commands us to fast, not so that He can prove He is as good as a cheeseburger by making our hunger go away. God commands us to fast so that we learn to feel hungry and trust Him in the midst of that gnawing sense of need. 
The goal of fasting is not for God to remove our hunger, but for us to learn that in the midst of hunger He is trustworthy. The feeling of hunger is the point of the fast. God wants us to feel hunger so that we are reminded that we are not supposed to be satisfied and we are supposed to long for Him. We fast to reflect that we trust God regardless of what our bodies tell us. He is our authority, not our bodies.
I know that wanting a cheeseburger isn't the same as wanting to check Facebook, but I'm still learning to trust God in the midst of need. Trusting God is a choice I have to make daily. I have to trust that He is better. I have to trust that He will provide. I have to trust that He is working to my life look like His Son.

So today I'm choosing to unplug when I feel overwhelmed. I'm choosing to tune in to those around me. I'm choosing to trust God's plan for my life.

Side note: I'll be unplugging from all social media outlets in August to prepare for my MCAT. I'm super nervous, but I'm glad to worship a God who is big enough for my anxiety and worry!

7 comments:

  1. There are so many good takeaways in this post! That whole comparison thing is a big deal. It's easy for those thoughts to creep in without even realizing they are stealing your joy and rearranging your priorities. Wise words on fasting too. I am stopping by from the coffee date linkup and so glad I popped over to read this!

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    1. I didn't even realize how much comparison played a role in my life until I decided to log out. I'm learning to fully enjoy the moments that God affords us.

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  2. LOVE this post - I have made a regular habit of getting off social media every weekend and it's so refreshing - almost like resetting my mind. It's so good to have that time to not feel like I have to fill every spare minute with checking social media. And that quote about fasting? Amazing. Fasting is something I've never really understood as a Christian, but that quote helped me understand it better! Happy to have found you via the coffee date link up!
    Whitney @ Journey Mercies
    www.journey-mercies.com

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    1. I've learned so much about fasting this past year. But viewing fasting as leaning on God has made all the difference. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Absolutely love this! You go, girl! I'm so proud of you. :) My husband and I have casually discussed unplugging at least once a week from everything--tv and laptop included. You've inspired me to really go for it.

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    1. By the way, thanks so much for linking up with us!

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    2. Thanks for the encouragement (and for hosting)! I'll be the first to admit that it is pretty tough, but it is so worth it!

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