These days I only use Facebook for the local marketplace and sharing blog posts. I’ve never really given a lot of energy to Twitter. Instagram has always been my favorite. I’ve taken so many social media breaks it might be comical to some people, and each time I wanted to return. Each time I was renewed and excited to hop back on. In the past year or so, I felt little coming back from breaks. It didn’t feel overly positive or negative, it just felt not needed. So I’ve decided to give myself to this new feeling and run with it.
This is how I’ve been articulating it to those closest to me…
First, God has given us ‘things’ in life — spouse or not, kids or not, job loss or job promotion, etc. And then we’ve given ourselves many ‘other things’ — worldly expectations, entertainment, busy schedules, news to keep up with, etc. There is what God has given me to take on: disciple of Jesus, wife to John, mom to two girls (almost), friend to those in my community, faithful steward of the gifts He gives. No one else is accountable to these things but me. A question He’s posing is, what helps me as a woman in these roles and what doesn’t?
Second, I start with something Erin Loechner wrote, “There is only today, with holes in our pockets, with time spilling out. We cannot keep it for tomorrow. We cannot mend our seams to hoard, save, carry. Ask a bird how to fly, and it might tell you to remove the weight from your wings.” It’s the nature of how Instagram is now that gets to me most, I think. It’s fast-paced, infinite feeds, ads and content-overload, pressure for some to stay relevant or what’s the point?
I’m turning into a person who needs slower, simpler and quiet in my ‘off time’ to be a healthy, happy human. This is the time I am being given… I don’t want my attention-muscles continuing to atrophy. As fun as it can be, social media is weight on my wings I can let go of.
And third. We have an active toddler and a baby on the way and frankly, I have less time to myself. Less time means the need for more intention. Fewer but fuller outlets.
I’m far from anti-internet, and I’m not deleting any accounts. I am purging my feed… this week I went from 840-something to 500-something on Instagram and it felt amazing. The majority of them I never even see their posts anymore (thanks, algorithm). I’d like to get it down to only accounts of real-life friends.
God wired me to create, to write, to love sharing stories and encouraging others as I go. I can’t not do it, and this blog is an outlet that brings me a lot of satisfaction and refreshment. So I readily step away from the hurried pace of these apps and embrace the more relaxed tempo of this blog.
There are always trade-offs to any decision, right? By not sharing on social media when I publish a new post, less people see it. In the past I’ve been bummed about that, but today I’m okay. I DO want friends to know it’s here but my goal isn’t to accumulate numbers but keep connecting.
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PSS – I will still be posting regularly to the podcast account, because it’s an easy way for friends to share episodes.
Helpful questions I’ve considered the past few years:
- Is my time on Instagram or Facebook helping me create the life I want? Maybe I need new parameters.
- Can I curate my feed more intentionally, i.e. unfollowing accounts that produce discontentment or overwhelm me with XYZ?
- Do I find myself more anxious, less content or simply mentally fatigued majority of the time? Maybe looking at my screen habits would shed some light.
- Maybe it would be worth thinking about or deciding what kind of value I want to bring to social media platforms? Am I doing it? Would I want my kids following the voices I’m following? Are these voices forming me in Christlikeness or distracting me from it?