I’ve been teaching and blogging on the topic of how we use social media for quite a few years now. So it may come as a surprise that until recently I had never seriously considered the idea of taking an extended break from it. I had only logged off for a few days here and there. That included time in places with limited or no internet access. These were helpful bursts that definitely developed good disciplines in my life. But an all out social media detox was never on the table. I had struggled to balance my strong stance on prioritizing face to face relationships with my growing calling to work in the area of social media.
God had lead me to work in it, so how could I justify leaving it?
We had been anticipating this moment for 9 months. Thousands were spent on flights that allowed the room to be full of our family. A family that is usually scattered about the globe. As I passed around my daughter I couldn’t help but feel blessed. This was one of many moments I knew I would be having this month. Moments that would be remembered for a lifetime. Just weeks earlier I had decided to go on my phone and delete three very specific apps; Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My social media world. For this season I wanted to make sure my focus was 100% in this room. That my eyes were on my daughter and my conversations were with my family.
For that time I may have sacrificed proudly sharing my daughter on social media, but I can tell you with full confidence that what I gained was far more valuable.
Now I am sure you have probably read other blogs telling similar stories of how people went through social media detoxes. It is a growing movement that even includes retreat centers with no internet access. While I am an advocate for such things I think it is also important that we log off for other reasons. That we don’t just look inward at our own struggles with social media. Instead why don’t we also look outward and log off for those people and times that are most valuable to us. The birth of my daughter was only going to happen once. My scattered family was rarely going to be in one room. Nothing was more important than that. So I did not take a detox. I took a break to focus on those things that matter. For you this could be a single day, or maybe just an afternoon. A time where you know you have the opportunity to be with people that are important to you. Or experience an event that won’t happen again. Don’t let external connections or distractions steal from that. They will be waiting for you the second you log back on. They aren’t necessarily bad things, though they are also not the birth of your child.
So in closing, my hope with this post is that you will simply stop and take a moment to consider this question;
Is there something in your near future worth logging off for?