03 Sep To Share or Not to Share
Earlier this year, I decided to step away from social media. There were two main reasons – for physical health & spiritual/mental health. I thought I’d take a moment and… share 😉
The first part to my social media break was that I actually had a bad physical reaction to spending too much time online & and on my phone. I had been working on a big project on my computer, then trying to post things on my phone, plus had not recovered fully from my 13 hour drive from our move to Colorado.
The strain on my shoulder, neck and upper back became so intense that I ended up having a really terrible night of extreme vertigo where it felt like my upper body was on fire. I couldn’t get out of bed for hours, and even lying down in bed was miserable. For many days following, it would flare up when I looked at my phone or used my computer for more than 5 or 10 minutes.
And so I had to lay those things down until I started to heal physically. Looking back, I think it may actually have been a gentle discipline from the Lord that I was spending far too much time scrolling.
Spiritual / Mental Health
I can easily say that being off social media has been good for my spiritual and mental health.
I will make a real confession here that I sometimes found myself resenting or judging people that I barely know because of something they would post on Facebook or Instagram. And I know most would assume this applies to political views, but if I’m honest, that’s just a small part of it.
The way people do certain things or say certain things, posted on social media with no ill will (though perhaps sometimes a degree of ignorance), caused unnecessary sinful thoughts to come into my mind that would not have existed if I hadn’t just happened to scroll past it.
Now, I’m not by nature a Judgy Wudgy person, so please believe that this didn’t apply to the overwhelming majority of my time spent online, but nevertheless, it did happen.
And I knew I had a choice to make that could keep it from happening.
After all, Jesus said, “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” – Matthew 5:30. This was my “cut off my hand” moment. Why afford the enemy an opportunity to seed bitterness or unrighteous judgment in my heart? And thank goodness turning off social media isn’t quite as painful or inconvenient as removing a limb.
Bitterness, unrighteous judgment, resentment – especially the type that causes disunity within the body of Christ – are all incompatible with holiness. And personally, my pursuit is holiness.
I’ll never achieve it on this side of heaven, but I love the pursuit. I have a goal of becoming more like Jesus, with the help & guidance of Jesus. It’s a challenge, and at times, can feel like two steps forward, one big step back. But not only is pursuing holiness good for me, but also for my marriage, my children, and anyone I come into contact with.
I do miss the advantages of social media – being able to see everyone’s beautiful faces, get updates on how they’re doing, how big their kids are getting, and the hilarious memes that give me a good chuckle (have you seen the one about COVID and eating carrot cake with their hands? One of my faves!)
But in my own life, I had to come to terms with the fact that the benefits of social media paled in comparison to the detriment it had on my character and pursuit of holiness.
Due to the nature of my freelance marketing work, I still have to be on social media for my clients. And there are a few gardening & farming groups on Facebook that I love to check out because of the wealth of information they provide. So yes, from time to time, I do catch a glimpse of my feed and I check my notifications & messages. Other than that, I’ve been working hard to say no to “the temptation of infinite scrolling”.
I’d like to take a pause at this point and put in a big disclaimer. I am not saying in any way that I believe you should get off social media. This is simply a sharing of my own life and recent experience. For example, I don’t really watch TV for various reasons, but I’m perfectly fine letting my kids watch TV, and we love doing a family movie night every week.
I’m not a fan of blanket solutions because I believe everyone’s life and experience is different. So this post is not meant to be a recommendation on anyone else’s life or a one size fits all statement.
So if, even for a moment, you feel guilty as a result of this post, I want to stop right here and say, I apologize, I hope you’ll forgive me. That is not my intention and if you still feel off about it, please get in touch with me and I will happily tell you that I love you and it doesn’t matter a lick to me whether you’re on social media or not. In fact, you might have great reasons to be on there, and I fully support that!
What I’ve Been Doing with My Extra Time
OK disclaimer aside, I have found a side bonus of being off social media is having extra time to research & learn things (which I guess could be a good or bad thing, hah!)
I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can about regenerative farming on a small family scale. I built a vermicomposter (worm composter) that has been turning our kitchen scraps into nutrient rich worm casting. Nick and I also built two raised garden beds to prepare for planting next spring. We’re discussing what animals we would like to bring on, how, when, and how many. Same goes for gardening & planting. There is A LOT for me to learn on this front as I grew up in the suburbs, and my recent Google searches include things like “how much hay does a sheep eat daily?”, “best family dairy cow”, and “how to build a simple greenhouse.”
I’m currently still working through the New Testament reading plan I started last September – only 6 months behind on YouVersion but hey, God gives me grace! 😉 I’m also in the middle of Joel Salatin’s “Folks, That Ain’t Normal”, which has been eye opening in regards to the big ag industry, and Sally Clarkson’s “Own Your Life” for a book group I joined.
I’m also trying to come up with more creative ideas for homeschooling (because I’ll be honest, the last couple months of last year’s homeschooling effort was not my A-game. We barely made it through.) Pinterest and the website, Teachers Pay Teachers, has been awesome for that.
Where & How I’ll Share
In these last months off social media, I have been purposefully introspective of how I should share, or even if I should. After turning it in my mind and heart, speaking with Nick, and asking Jesus, I have decided to stick with blogging for now. My posts may not even be read (because how will anyone know about it if I don’t post it on social media?), but I love writing as a way to process my journey.
If you want to keep up with updates on this blog, I plan to send out a weekly email newsletter that has an overview of my recent posts. If you’re interested in receiving these emails, you can sign up for that in the footer of this website.
Otherwise, one thing I’m learning to treasure is the phone call. A FaceTime or some Marco Polos with good friends always feeds and refreshes my soul. So if you’d like to catch up with me, give me a ring! Or shoot me an email or send me a text. I’d love to connect.
PS… I always share brownies 😉