What I Learned During My Fast

Friday, April 18, 2014 4 Comments A+ a-

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.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

4 comments

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Tracy
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10:09 PM delete

Oh that's good! I'm trying just to limit my social media time to only when my kiddos are sleeping. It's hard! But, I feel like I started missing moments with them.

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Christine
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11:31 PM delete

I'm proud of you! I thought you did really well on your fast! I definitely enjoyed reading more blog posts. I'm glad you took so much from the fast

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Janine
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6:26 PM delete

I am so glad that you gained some new insight. I have given up FB for the past 5 years and every year it gets easier and easier. In fact, when I went on FB today, I was sort of sickened by the postings of some of my friends. Only because it seems that everyone is trying to "one up" everyone else, so to that, I think I may only check in once a week or so. I learned that if something is important enough for me to be a part of, then I will get a phone call or an email. If not, then it was only as important as the next status update. Have a blessed week!

faithfulinfirst.blogspot.com

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5:49 PM delete

Two years ago I did a twitter fast for lent and then never went back! It felt kinda great! Glad you enjoyed your time and your Easter fam photo is adorable! :)

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