26 May 2016


I'm angry.
Angry at social media and all the ways it has changed me.
I didn't start out angry, but after going full-circle around the subject of social media, that's where I ended up. :P
It all started with a simple statement my mom made that had me thinking about the temptations of entertainment and other things that take our time away from God (and so much more). My mind immediately went to a song in our hymnal. 

"My soul, be on thy guard, Ten thousand foes arise, 
And hosts of sin are pressing hard To draw thee from the skies.
Ne'er think the vict'ry won, Nor once at ease sit down..."

I soon realized that for me personally, two of those "ten thousand foes" was Instagram and Facebook. I wanted to get rid of them! But I didn't want to do it rashly and have big regrets. So throughout the last two weeks I've put a lot of thought and prayer into the matter. 
I feel like God has given me many confirmations that this would be the right step for me to take as a solution to the million-and-one problems I soon saw that social media had created in my life. ;)

My greatest fear in doing this is that I will eventually loose my vision of why I quit and come running back to social media like a little lost child that has finally found their mother in the grocery store. It doesn't help that Facebook and Instagram do not let you completely delete your account. Which is probably the #1 reason people hardly ever stop using it. It's just way too easy to give into the temptation when all you have to do is reactivate your account. So in my down time at work I have been going through my posts and deleting them... one by one. Removing all attachment to my little space online. 
Ironically, I came upon a Facebook post I made two years ago that I still like... ;P So I'm not going to delete that one... If I ever happen to think it would be a good idea to reactivate my FB, that post will be the first thing I see. Hopefully, it will prompt me to turn around and flee back to social-media-less-ness. ;)

Reasons social media is not right for me:

It consumed my thoughts all day long in little, tiny ways.
If I was dreaming about the future... then I had already pictured what kind of post I would share with people when that time came.
If I saw a post of someone who seemed to have it "together" a little more than I did, then I would muse on how I could "best" them one day... supposedly encouraging myself and boosting my self-image. (wrong!)
In all the free time I have had this past week, I was sorting some old papers and ran across some notes I took from church that said, "We should go to bed praying, wake up praying, and have the Lord on our mind throughout our day." :) I've heard that many times before, but I still found myself opening my Instagram first thing in the morning to get my mind running and shake my drowsiness. Shame. I know. :/

I could never get a lot accomplished in a day, like I had in the past.
I didn't notice this one for a long time, because I went through a lot of life-changes during the time I had social media. I could easily blame my lack of productivity on senioritis in high school, photography, going to college, working and college and photography all at once. But eventually my life slowed back down to just working. Did it really take me three years to realize that all of those other things in my life were not the complete cause of my lack of accomplishment? So when I came to the point in my life when I was just working... I began to wonder why I never got a lot accomplished in all that extra time. Hmmm...?

Social Media had me wrapped up in unhealthy jealousy.
This is a little more of a touchy subject; but I've seen it with myself, and I've seen it with many of my friends. So I'll just admit it and put it out there because it's real.
Nope, I'm not talking about jealousy of other people's lives... that's already been covered.
A little scenario might describe what I'm talking about best...
 Suppose you like someone. And you stalk your crush's posts to see what other possible rivalry is commenting and liking their posts. Then you try to stalk what your crush does to make sure that they aren't interacting with someone who could be stealing their attention away from you.
 Unhealthy! That's the only word I have to say about it...

Misunderstandings are real. 
I'll just say that we've become pros at creating captions and writing posts that don't tell the full story. 

Living in our virtual world actually separates us from others.
This was one of my biggest things I felt like I was giving up... My connection to other people. When I would think about it, I would get sad and say, "People will think I don't care about them and what they're doing anymore." Not true. The truth is, when you are on social media, for the most part, you are really focusing on "Me, Myself, and I". You're focusing on what little virtual world you are creating. 
When my mom found out I was deleting all my Instagram posts, she gasped and said, "Don't you want to create a photobook of all your memories first?" I told her ,"No... I have the pictures already saved elsewhere. I don't want to remember my life in this way." And the best way I can describe why I needed to completely delete all the posts is because they held the key to re-entering the door of my "virtual life". I don't need my virtual life anymore because it's not me, and it's hindering me from being ME. And I'm sorry that it took me so long to really realize this. (Because, believe me... I had heard ALL the points that I've just gone over mentioned before, but I needed the Lord to open my eyes to see how it was actually happening in my life.)

Back to the fear of loosing that connection with people, though! 
The connection is good... right?!
But is it really good? I didn't know... And I still don't know.
However, I found an answer that satisfied me when I was talking with a friend about it.
They mentioned how the icon for the internet was originally the tower of babel. It was supposed to connect people. Which again, we ask ourself, "Hey, that's good, right?"
So the original tower of babel from the bible was supposed to be a rallying point and to keep the people from being scattered. This was not in God's plan, and He was not pleased with that at all. He had a better plan! We all know the story of how God separated the people by languages to stop their works. So in reality, man's feeble attempts to connect people ended up separating them more. I can't help but believe that there is no coincidence with this correlation of the tower of babel to internet/social media. 
We've come a long ways in society's thinking to connect everyone, only to really be isolating ourselves.


So what about my experience of being media-free so far?
Well, I'm still in the process of getting everything shut down. But I honestly haven't had a desire to even get on and do my normal browsing through social media. The first week was definitely rough, and I felt so lonely all week. Even through that time, though, I wasn't craving that online connection. 
This past week has been amazing though. I've really felt light and happy. :) I've been able to make other REAL connections with people over the phone and visiting them in person. Plus, I've got a lot accomplished on a project we have going on at the house.
This evening, as I was deleting more posts, I allowed myself to scroll through Instagram a little. And guess what? I was soon was battling unhappy thoughts. Go figure. Lol

By writing this post, I'm not challenging others to give up Instagram, Facebook, entertainment, etc.
I'm challenging you to look into yourself and see what hinders you. It may be none of these things mentioned above... or, it may be that and more. ;P


By, the way... it still feels weird that I'm doing this. Am I a total psych? :P 
No... I imagine that it just has a stronger hold on me than I realized. Making it feel weird to be breaking above it... to be free. :)