What I learned when I took a 21-day social media fast:
These things aren’t pleasant – I’m not quite thrilled with the results because of the truth of them. Ugh, not the “happy” euphoric things that I thought were going to be revealed. These were uncomfortable truths…..
1. Instead of going to God when things were hard, I was going to my trusted sources for guidance. I thought, “Oh, I bet she has a great resource for this….or maybe this blog will have some insight on how to deal with x, y, z.” Not an inherently bad thing…but when it’s my children testing my motherly sainthood with their humanness….the internet is NOT the wisest source of nourishment or grounding.
This insight hit me in the heart. I couldn’t really wrap my head around it. So instead of feeling guilty or trying to truly understand…I acknowledged it, prayerfully considered how to make this shift permanent, and refuse any shame to come in (shame…oh, that was a huge revelation during my #socialmediafast but for another day).
2. During my time offline I took a trip to become a Godmother. This gift, oh my stars, such a treasure for me. As our plane took off at 0600 and I sat there alone…alone…for the first time in 20 months traveling by myself…..my first reaction was to take pictures for my kids and send them when I landed at my connection. We just traveled as a family for the holidays and I knew they’d appreciate the pictures and video footage.
Here’s the “lightbulb moment”……I normally think to share what’s happening in my life with you first, not my kids. I normally think, how will this moment impact my online community, not my kids. My habit is to apply the circumstances happening at the moment to the lovely women God has brought to my online table. None of that is bad. At all. However, it is not the way I want my order of thoughts to be. I thought because I’m home with my kids and always thinking about our homeschool and how we can make our home more welcoming and pleasant….that they were my first priority. Mostly. Yes. And imagine, if my thoughtful, contemplative thoughts on how this life situation or moment could impact my relationship with my kids….or be a teaching moment for them….or….what if then? I dedicate time to write and build social media for my online table, and I love it! And I think it might be wise for me to be mindful of the order of my thoughts. Allow space for my kids to be part of this active reflection, build in the habit now as they’re growing. So that hopefully as their brains develop and we are dealing with bigger issues than whose turn it is to ride the motorcycle, I’m conditioned to think of them & the world around us and have some thoughtful insights to help us navigate those conversations and battles.
3. I did not spend less time on my phone. I spent “better” time on my phone but that was not my objective. I wanted to spend LESS time on my phone and failed. My kids see me pick that thing up and look at it, not them.