10 Things We Learned When Disconnecting From Social Media

At the beginning of the year I stepped into 2020 with a fresh insight and took a break from social media for ten days. Both my husband and I agreed to take the adventure together and held each other accountable each passing day. After a long day at work, my husband Brandon would arrive home and over dinner we’d do our annual check in, “Were you good today?” I'd always ask. This was my avenue to see if he stayed off of social media during our eight hour distance apart.

To my utter surprise, at the end of this experience we made it the entire 240 hours away from the internet. The only real way to describe these ten days was as if I was taking many beautiful breaths of fresh air. I was so enlightened and encouraged by the particiaption that by the end of our break I was ready to dive into another week the following month. Then the month after that and so on.

It wasn’t this way at the beginning of the adventure though. I was convinced that this wouldn’t even work. I wasn't going to last the entirety of our goal and if I most likely couldn't, my assumption was neither would Brandon (sorry babe!). Between you and me, he has a special place in his heart for his Samsung Galaxy S10E. I mean, he’s a tech guy, that comes with the title, am I right? 

A little backstory before we dive into the details of what we took away from this experiment. At the start of this new year, it's become more important to our family to set goals, choose a word, pray, and now to add to our list, fast. This word fast  has become pretty favored in our day and age for different measures. To us, this task illustrates a willful re-frainment from food, activities, or lifestyle choices for a period of time as an act of worship to God. It's a biblical principle that can be found all throughout Scripture. 

Within the 14,400 minutes our eyes and minds didn't cross paths with the world wide web, we channeled ten instruments we'll continue to develop over the continual seasons of life. Between Brandon and I, we're sharing five each that resognated with us the most and why we think it's important to advance with this habit in mind when it comes to disconnecting from social media outlets.

To me, this time holds a special place in my heart. It re-connected me to physical life and helped me appreciate beyond my recent capacity. The smiles of my son came alive. The taste of my morning coffee was seemly more delicious. And the stillness of a late afternoon never filled my heart more. It was a new sense of connection that I've missed and a new appreciation for a present lifestyle.

To Brandon, this was an eye opener. He came to this simple yet, powerful perspective that we don't need social media to know what people are actually doing. He was inspired to reach out to others more regularly. His attention grew to thoughtful actions as he engaged in conversations instead of watching the life of others from the outside.

I also got a handle on how much time I actually pursued facebook, instagram, and pinterest. In the process of disconnecting a new abundance of minutes showed up at my front door and I could start utilizing them. I began tackling tasks I've wanted to either catch up on always wished I had "time" for. This was life changing for me as I began venturing out on a project that I have spent years dreaming about. Seeing it come to the start of fruition was a beautiful opportunity.

With my husband, being in nature is one of his favorite things to do. I wouldn't say all year round with the snow, but a portion of our time here in the North East. Disconnecting online gave him more of a reason to get outside. Going outdoors was proven to be more beneficial for his wellbeing and happiness than mindlessly scrolling through feeds on social media. He choose to feed his soul instead.

Half way there and I couldn't be more excited about point number five. During these ten days, it was exceptional to see that relationships I have with friends and family blossom. The consistency of community was a fresh revelation to consider those in my corner that I simply could miss getting back to with my mind boggled all day with my phone in hand. Lesson learned.

Brandon made an incredible point when he broke down the importance of checking in on people emotionally. This really knocks all the rest of these lessons out of the park because to me this is by far the most important. The rhythm of his kindness is evident in all he does and it challenged me too. You can't always tell how people are by checking what their status is online. 99% of the time, the posts you see in freeze frame are generally not elaborating on how that person is feeling on the inside. This is what we need most.

I also grew in my confidence at rocket speeds. Real talk, friends. I'm letting you in on a deep place in my heart. So much scrolling and so little did I understand that my heart was growing weary with getting discouraged by what others were doing. It was a constant roller coaster I couldn't get off of feeling like I was missing out. If I was always engulfed in the lives of others, I came to the healthy conclusion that what I was missing was simply my own life and my own happiness. Social media distancing was what I needed to engage in here and there. I wouldn't have stepped into this assurance if I didn't take the step back to learn.

This is one we touched on a little earlier, but my husband also took root in this life example. Disconnecting from the internet helped him declutter not only the space around him, but also his mind. It produced a new sensitivity to his surroundings and wasn't clouded by the fog of constantly being present online. If you want to set your mind free, this is the solution.

Finally, during these ten days I really tapped into what it's like to be creative again. This. I needed this more than I even thought. Having a originative outlet has been significant for me as a person. Over the course of learning about my tendencies and reflecting on my life, I've been able to determine that my creativity window has decreased since childhood. I loose touch of what it's like to be original, to spark an idea, create, or try something new without any pressure of what someone else would think. It's a 2020 goal that I'm reaching for when it comes to imagination. I choose to imagine again.

In the end, it also gave Brandon the chance to discover something fresh and take the time to enjoy it. With a busy life and a constant on the go routine, empty space is missing in the agendas of people today. It's where we fill up and find ourselves. It's where we grow and flourish. This was absolutely evident as I watched him engage in something that made him smile and we even had the extra time to chat about it too!

Brandon and I enjoyed this time of fasting from the world wide web. We grew in our marriage, with our family, in our relationship with others, with ourselves, and most importantly with God. It's favorable we will continue to visit these action over the course of the year and surely in the beginning of 2021.

We're big advocates for the social world and love what it offers to lifestyle today, but like everything else, we believe in moderation and the importance of rest. Just like our bodies need to recuperate after a workout, I'd say the same thing about our minds. Shutting them down and positioning them to experience our own life story is so important. It'd be such a shame to miss that as life simply passes by. It's time to really start living.