Aka, the month we gave up social media. And video games. But the latter only affected one of us….(and I will let you guess who).
I will start by saying nothing you’re about to read is new information.
I am not the first person to give up social media. I did not make ground breaking discoveries about living life offline. Almost everything I have to say has already been discovered and practiced and pondered by many before me. Social media is as hated as it is loved, and many people unplug out of protest, a desire to live a quieter life, or a host of other reasons.
And for the most part, we know what will happen if we begin to release our grip on living a life of constant status updates, picture sharing, and the false sense of connectedness we get from a public forum.
But I will say this: you can observe things from other people’s experiences, or you can experience and learn them for yourself.
And this month, for us, was about experiencing things firsthand.
About taking the “ya I could do that..IF I wanted to”, and just doing it.
A lot happened this month. One of my dear friends welcomed her sweet baby boy into the world. We had a blast getting away to Chicago for Easter weekend and watching the Reds beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field. I co-hosted and spoke at my church’s women’s retreat. And, last but very not least, we signed a purchase agreement for a home! Woah.
And get this…all of those things happened in their fullest without any sort of public broadcast! But the catch: I felt less excitement by not being able to share them.
And I recognize and dislike how ridiculous that is. There were moments in our busy, exciting, packed-to-the-brim month where I felt…lonely. I didn’t have comments or likes or public affirmation. I signed on to Facebook to post a blog and signed off with no idea what kind of feedback I was getting. And I was slightly annoyed that I even cared. I thought I had a better handle on myself, my feelings, than I actually do.
Like I said, not new information, but new to be on the receiving end of these things.
And it made me realize I’ve got some work to do.
I’ve got some self-examining, where is my identity, what do I put my hope in kind of reflections to ponder. Because we’re all aware at the false sense of community we feel by signing online. We all know what lessons are to be learned from sharing less, living more, virtual world vs real world, blah blah blah. We all swear it “doesn’t really matter” and we could delete or log off of any social media account at any time.
But do we?
Do you unplug or intentionally disconnect yourself? Do you refrain from sharing or has the internet become a lifeline?
It’s worth thinking about. Or experimenting with. Because you may learn things about yourself. Not earth shattering, no one has ever done this before kind of things. But important things. Things worth paying attention to.
And if nothing else, you will enjoy the quiet. And the simple.
We did. We enjoyed more face to face interactions and sweet moments together that would have otherwise been preoccupied with video games and instagram updates. Not that we’re the first couple to ever try this, but we absolutely enjoyed what it did to our relationship.
And we will make an effort to keep these things going and to live differently. To put priorities where they belong, and keep our need to be recognized, connected, and always searching under better control.
Because that’s the point this whole fasting thing: to learn about ourselves, and then to do something with what we’ve learned.
And to make more time and space for things that matter.
This month: fasting from excess sleep and a look at how we spend our free time.