Now, I had never done any kind of "fast" like this before. And I had been on Facebook almost daily for 4 years. That is a serious habit. The first two or three days I was twitchy and actually would have a "news feed" scroll through my brain with the full names of girlfriends going, going, going. It was nuts. I thought that I had probably screwed my brain up from social media! LOL!
In that first week I got SO much done around my house that it was shocking. Lots more cleaning and clearing and to-do lists done. It's as if I had all this free time on my hands. Was my time on Facebook really keeping me from doing necessities around my home?! Was I blinded to how much time it was really distracting me from more important duties?
I also noticed very quickly how blessed soul-peace came. No more reading other people's drama, their jokes, their political rants, or complaining. I couldn't believe how much negativity I was feeding on by reading status updates. I was surprised to notice how much of my mental energy was focused on others instead of on the children right in front of me. Even being present with my children in body didn't mean that my heart and mind were with them. My heart and mind were usually pondering somebody else's issues posted on Facebook. Pretty sobering.
Then I began listing the things that I was getting done without Facebook in my life. Whenever we say "no" to something, then we are saying "yes" to something else. With saying "no" to Facebook I was saying "yes" to:
- Starting a simple prayer plan. I set my iPhone to ring chime reminders at 9am, noon and 3pm to pray. I pray the Lord's Prayer, Psalm 23, Psalm 117 and for my marriage, my parenting, gratitude, my children and the Compassion children we sponsor. I fail at following through every time, but it's wonderful to replace chronic Facebook-checking with checking-in with Jesus.
- Engaging my children in conversations/ being with them in body and mind. Amazing.
- Reading my children many more books
- Reading books for myself
- Getting outside with my children. Lying on the grass. Hanging out on the trampoline. Playing games.
- Setting up coffee dates with friends. Since I realized that I wasn't seeing what people were up to, it became natural to begin initiating more coffee and real-life conversations. Beautiful.
- Taking photos and posting them on Instagram (a much friendlier and smaller social media venue)
In the end, I have a much lighter spirit, a more focused heart on the Lord, Mike and my children, less agitation/mind clutter, greater intention in building face-to-face friendships that truly feed me, and more work done around my home. Pretty good trade-off!
I am now back "on" Facebook, but it will be limited. It's just not worth my time. I feel as if it is needed in some ways to find out about social events and many people use it as a form of email now. I will use those good things well and check in with friends I love, but leave the mindless scrolling and reading behind. There are too many other adventures to be had with my "friends" who live right here in my home. Their hearts and their "updates" are what I need to be checking in on.
Lord, give the grace to make it so.