Redeem the Time – Mini Pledge {A Weekend without Social Media}

RedeemTheTime - A Weekend without Social Media

This weekend I’m posting a challenge to myself, and I’d like you to join me. Knowing that I’m not going at this alone will make it a bit easier. So what’s the challenge? It’s a weekend without any social media, and I’m calling it Redeem the Time – Mini Pledge. Sometime in the near future I’m going to work out the details for a more intensive Redeem the Time – Full Pledge. It will entail a break from more than just social media and for a longer time span, but for now, let’s get our toes wet with this mini version.

So why a weekend sans our favorite online social spots? While social media is a fantastic tool that can be used to accomplish a host of objectives, it also comes with quite a few pitfalls if not managed wisely. Namely, it monopolizes my time and keeps me tethered to my phone/computer, which prevents me from being fully engaged in the real moments of my days. And secondly, it dangles that ugly carrot of comparison front and center.

According to this study, the average American spends approximately three hours per day on social media. That number may seem shocking, but we all know how easily we can fall into the time warp. One glance at Facebook can lead down a never-ending rabbit hole. And don’t get me started on Pinterest. As much as I love it, I recognize that I give that little iPhone app way too much attention.

And unfortunately, when I’m engaging social media, I’m not fully engaging the people or the moments around me. When I’m looking at my phone, I’m not watching my kids; when I’m posting a status update, I’m not interacting with my husband; and while I’m browsing Pinterest kitchens, the dishes in my own sink are piling up. In short, when I spend too much time on social media, I’m missing out on the more important things right in front of me.

As for that ugly comparison issue that we’re so prone to as women, Facebook and Pinterest can be the worst. I’ve written before about feeling like a failure as a mother, and social media is a big source of fuel for that fire. When I read a fellow mom who posted about her trip to the spa, a vacation, her house remodel or the fact that her three-year-old is reading, it’s so easy to begin comparing my circumstances to hers. And when I’m browsing Pinterest-worthy homes, I can easily fall into that trap of dissatisfaction and an ungrateful heart.

I want to be diligent in my use of social media so it can serve as an effective tool in my life, rather than having it steal my time and my gratefulness. So it’s high time I address these issues. Are you in this with me? I sure hope so, because I’d love to have you! Here are the rules.

THE RULES

Be committed. No social media from 5 pm Friday to 8 am Monday; that includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and (eek!) Pinterest.

Be accountable. Commit to the weekend with a friend, broadcast on Facebook that you’ll be taking the pledge, pin the image to note that you’re in. It doesn’t really matter how you do it, but tell someone who can hold you accountable. And if you are diving in with me, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment here!

Be intentional. The purpose of this pledge is to redeem the time, so be wise in how you’re spending the hours you would otherwise be squandering online. Engage your family, open a book, pick up a camera, have a lengthy quiet time, start a project, take some time to rest. It’s not so much the what that matters. Rather it’s the fact that you’re replacing wasted time with something of value.

Be reflective. When you’ve finished the pledge, think about the weekend and how the simple act of turning off social media impacted you and your family. If it made a positive impact, commit to spending less time online moving forward.

Be an Encourager. Tell someone how the weekend affected you, namely in an effort to encourage this practice for others. I’ll be sharing my experience right her, and if you’re so inclined, please come back and leave a comment about your experience. I’d love reading it! And I’m sure others would to!

Are you ready? Let’s go!

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10 thoughts on “Redeem the Time – Mini Pledge {A Weekend without Social Media}

  1. Lisa Craig

    Shalene, I’m in! I was just talking about this very thing yesterday with some friends. My iPhone (and its many apps) has become an addiction of sorts. I hate to even admit it, but it is true. I know that God desires so much more and that the enemy loves to keep us distracted from the things that truly matter. Mark 4:18-19 spoke to me this morning about how we can allow certain “thorns” into our lives that choke out the word and make us unfruitful. I’ve seen how, for me personally, hours have been squandered chasing rabbit holes on Facebook and pinterest and at the end of the night I’m left with nothing to show for myself. I think all things in modification, but it is good and healthy to take a step back and unplug, tune in to the moment, and allow ourselves the freedom from technology. Thanks for the encouragement to do what I’ve known has needed to happen for quite some time. Maybe this will be the start to setting up healthy, reasonable limits on the use of social media. 🙂

    Reply
    1. shaleneroberts Post author

      Lisa, I hate to admit that my iPhone has become an addiction to. Whenever my hands are idle, I find myself turning to it without even a thought about what I’m doing. I realize the hold it has on me, and I’m ready to break that. This weekend is a step in that direction. And I agree about everything in moderation. Social media itself is not the problem … it’s the frequency with which I indulge it. So glad you’re taking the pledge with me. I look forward to hearing about your experience!

      Reply
  2. gina

    Although I read blogs , I refuse to be on facebook, etc, so this is easy for me! It just does’t feel authentic to me.

    Reply
    1. shaleneroberts Post author

      Gina, you’re so right about the lack of authenticity. Facebook, Pinterest, etc definitely has a tendency to portray an image that is far from the truth!

      Reply
  3. Sarah Wallace

    I made it! That statement makes it sound like it was a terrible sacrifice which is not the case at all. I found that without CONSTANTLY checking what was new on Facebook and Pinterest that there was much more interesting and worthwhile “new” happening right there in front of me. With all honesty my addiction to Facebook is not to see what others are doing but to these auctions that are so readily available to quench my need for more. I can honestly tell you that several nights a week I rush to get my kids in bed, bypass my husband, and make a sprint to the computer to see what I “need”. How sad. I look forward to another Redeem the Time pledge but for now I did delete my Facebook icon on my phone.

    Thank you Shalene, it was a blessing for me and my family!

    Reply
    1. shaleneroberts Post author

      Sarah,

      I sort of felt the same way this morning … I had made it! And like you, I found that without constantly being tied to social media via my phone, I was able to embrace all the worthwhile moments right in front of me! It was a much more restful, engaging weekend than I have had in a while. And I love the fact that you deleted the FB icon on your phone. I just may have to do the same thing! Glad it was a blessing to you and your family!

      Reply
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