“Are you taking a break? I haven’t seen you on Facebook and instagram lately.”
That is correct.
A few weeks ago I couldn’t take it anymore. I just felt so unsatisfied when I looked at social media posts and how polished everyone’s lives where. They all looked so happy and perfect – while I was busy and alone and imperfect. I scrolled down feeds in search of some sort of meaningful news, but all I got was videos about cats and clickbait headlines.
The more time I spent on social media, the angrier I became and the emptier I felt.
It was time to get out.
The season of Lent provided a perfect time to go offline and see how my view of the world would change (hopefully).
It was quite surprising to see how much I didn’t miss it all. The white noise of cat videos, game invitations, gifs…It was all quiet out of a sudden. Finally, there was some space to listen, to breathe, to learn.
But it was also nice to rediscover some online friends who I’ve really missed during this time, I must admit. They use media very well to open my eyes for beauty and point me to unexpected treasures in the mundane.
The most shocking discovery was to realize how much time I waste on social media. It’s so easy to just pick up the phone when you’re waiting for something or feel bored. I felt almost conditioned to move my fingers towards icons, they were already trained to swipe down, to tap. It seemed impossible to just read a book, to just watch a book, to just ficus. I always needed something else. I was hoping that someone, anything, would care about me and entertain me. Shocking, sobering, eye-opening.
When I stopped looking at my phone for direction, I suddenly had so much time.
Time to really focus on the important things.
Time to intentionally connect with people.
Time to leave the camera behind and truly see beauty.
Time to listen to birds singing.
Time to inhale the smell of spring flowers and new life awakening.
Time to fill my heart again which things that matter and life that restores.
These weeks have definitely been a learning experience. The semicolon is a good symbol for it: I want to put a period – a stop – to wasting time on nonsense distraction – but I also want to connect with God, with people and the real world – focused and intentionally. Even if this means disconnecting online.
Have you ever taken a social media break? What have you learned? I would love to hear your experiences!
My friend Marilyn has written about this topic as well, check out her thoughts here!
Psst: I’ve also been working on some exciting news. Will share more about it next week! Stay tuned!
Writing for Five Minute Friday today.