On Friday, I challenged you to take the Redeem the Time – Mini Pledge. Several of you joined me in that experience, vowing to turn off social media for the weekend and instead focus on being fully engaged in the real moments of your days. A few of you have already contacted me to tell me how much you enjoyed the experience, and I’ve loved hearing from you! Abbey messaged me to say, “It was so refreshing not to mindlessly log on to social media and really focus on relaxing or getting projects finished around the house. I think this may be my weekend plan from here on out!” And Sarah left a comment saying: “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.”
My experience certainly echoes those sentiments. Turning off social media was a much-needed act of self-discipline. But once I vowed to keep it off for the weekend, I felt this small sense of impending freedom. It really feels a bit silly to write that. But the fact that I wasn’t tempted to fill my facebook and instagram feeds with witty updates and filtered images detailing my activities enabled me to just be, without the pressure (no matter how subtle) of “likes” or approving comments.
Looking back, I realize the pledge accomplished two things for me:
- Without the added noise of social media, my thoughts were less cluttered, more coherent. My head wasn’t constantly interrupted by status updates, and I found some mental rest … something I’ve been needing desperately! As for the thoughts that did come to me, they were mine. I didn’t broadcast them to the world, and (barring a few exceptions), I didn’t feel the need to share them publicly. Luke chapter 2 tells of the shepherds who came to visit Jesus’ birth. While there, they shared what the angels proclaimed to them about Jesus. And Luke 2:19 says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” I don’t know about you, but I need to practice more pondering.
- I shared in my last post that social media dangles that ugly carrot of comparison front and center. Why? Because most people don’t post about their mundane activities. It’s not the average day that gets mentioned, it’s the notable moments. And even then, we tend to prettify them. So when we see a friend post images of her recent vacation or read of her remodel, and we then look around us and see that the baby has just spit up, the dog has tracked in mud, crumbs litter the floor, and the two-year-old has her hair stuck around a Thomas the Tank Engine wheel (which may just be my exact view at the moment) it’s easy to compare our current circumstances to our friends’ highlight reels. Now I’m certainly not saying that it’s wrong to share exciting moments via social media. We’re social creatures, and we want others to share the joyous moments with us (I do my fair share)! But when we’re a constant consumer of other people’s pretty online lives, it’s easy to get a bit jaded.
All in all, the weekend was much needed and quite beneficial for me. And I realized how much influence I’ve given social media in my own life. As a result, I’m going to be cutting my usage back a bit. I’m not turning it off, because it certainly serves some great purposes when managed wisely (it’s a fantastic mode of staying in contact with friends and family). However, I will be making more of an effort to be a better steward. And I may even make the Redeem the Time pledge a regular weekend practice!
What about you? How did the pledge affect your weekend? If you took part in it, please comment and share your experience! We’d all love to hear your thoughts.
If you want to explore a bit more about social media and the comparison issue, this article is a great read.