What I Learned During My Fast
40 days. 40 days without Instagram and Facebook, and I’m left with a number of various thoughts about social media and myself. Some of those thoughts are better left unsaid, things that are better learned in a personal experience. So to that I say, if you’ve ever considered doing a social media fast, I highly recommend it. It brings a lot of things into hyper-focus.
I'm not going to lie, it was so incredibly hard at first. The number of times I reached for my phone to check notifications or post a picture is embarrassing. I also realized that I tend to think in a 140 characters or less. For real. Quick, fleeting thoughts that could easily be a caption or status. Yikes.
And while I cheated from time to time, mostly to check on my mom and sisters, I still believe I can call the fast a success. Not because I have super-human self-control (bwahahaha!) but because I’ll be able to take what I’ve learned and apply some much-needed changes. Any time something is learned its never wasted time, in my humble opinion.
Here’s what I learned during my fast:
- I am a very social creature, and do enjoy sharing my life with family and friends. I just don’t ever see that going away.
- I am WAAAAAAY more productive when there is no social media to distract me. In fact, I wondered at one time if I should fake my housewifely incompetence so Jon couldn’t blame social media for my lack of housekeeping skills. But I was busted regardless.
- I really need to be more intentional about the relationships I have in the day-to-day. Yes, I love my online friends and I’ve developed some amazing relationships online, but my efforts in my daily interactions is sorely lacking.
- Instagram has become my blogging kryptonite. I’ve rediscovered my love of blogging, and the whole family said hooray!
- I am so thankful for Instagram and the time capsule that’s at my fingertips. I’m sad that I missed out on so many fun celebrations and events during this fast.
Here’s what I accomplished during my fast:
- I caught up on all four and half seasons of Parenthood and was able to watch the last four episodes at the same times as the rest of the world. (Can I just say that the Joel and Julia storyline drove me bonkers this season?! Poor Amy had to put up with a lot of ranting via text.)
- I played waaaaay too many levels of Candy Crush.
- I started training for the Color Vibe next month, then stopped when I realized its still too cold to run. I'm a wimp.
- I rearranged furniture in several rooms and realized that I actually might have a knack for housewifely duties after all. I really love our living room space now, its so much more open.
- I started our plants for our garden and also realized a new-found love of gardening. I even managed to keep more than a few plants alive. Who knew?!
- I read 8+ books. All fiction, all for the fun of it.
- Laundry was actually folded and put away within two to three days. Instead of the usual week or two it usually takes me.
- I had numerous coffee and play dates, I caught up with old friends, made new friends, started a weekly prayer time with Mandy (more on this later), and a monthly date with Kamma Lynn. It felt so good to reconnect!
- I bought more summer dresses for the girls than I should probably admit.
- And more…
I discovered by the end of this time that I no longer missed social media. I’m not even joking. BUT… I also know that doesn’t translate very well to real life. I don’t want to be militant and legalistic about my time online, because that leads to a bunch of rules and sets the stage for failure. But I can honestly say that I’m more aware than I have been in
months years. And really, if awareness is the only thing I take away from this, then yes, I can call it a success.