Well, there’s no escaping it. Social media is here to stay in our culture and is now an integral part of today’s society and culture. Without question, it’s a great way to stay connected with distant family, friends, meet awesome like-minded strangers, and even your future spouse. It’s also been a thriving life source for businesses, networks, bloggers, news stations, entertainment, celebrities, even (though I’m still asking why) politicians.
Our phones constantly light up with notifications about who liked, commented, and shared a post. We get a vibrating buzz about who’s going live, events near us, and invites to events. The Facebook app will even notify you within four or five days of inactivity suggesting that you should post something. While we may not want to admit it, we get this slight excitement whenever we get a notification… or three. We constantly feel the need to stay and remain connected with the peace of mind knowing we’re not missing anything.
Social media is very useful for me especially as a blogger. I use it daily or almost daily as I try to send Godly encouragement to those who need it. Who knew that overtime with the barrage of lit up screens, buzzes, dings, and floods of text notifications after awhile would be too much of a good thing? It wasn’t until about a week ago did I experience that this was actually possible.
As a scrolled and check my apps, I stared to feel this spiritual and physical draining feeling whenever I scrolled to see videos and photos. Even when I posted my pictures or statuses, I felt it and I couldn’t understand why. Truthfully, I was in need of unplugging and deep spiritual refreshment.
God had been constantly sending me notifications and invites in the spirit for me to spend deep, quality, alone time with Him. Yet, I was too busy and distracted viewing and responding to the notifications on my phone to the point where I was almost burned out. Not realizing it, the fatigue was a subtle signal for me to check in with God and His Spiritual Notifications. This meant unplugging and disconnecting from digital world to seek God’s face and presence.
Spending a week away from social media has been restful and amazing. I feel renewed with a sharper sense of purpose and strength. I’ve learned lots of lessons but here are 3 things that I’ve learned during my time unplugged.
Our Androids and iPhone Can Be Our Idols
We’re so connected to our phones that one would think it grew permanently attached to our hand. As if its second nature, our phones are the first thing we pick up in the morning and the last thing we touch at night. If we could take it step further in our honesty, we can say that we even check our phones in the middle of the night after we’ve come back from a drink of water, a midnight snack, or even the bathroom. Unless…you DO take your phone in the bathroom with you.
No judgement here since we’ve ALL been guilty two times or another. I get it. We love that tangible feeling of being connected. It’s a whole lot easier to feel connected to something that you can visibly see and touch. Yet, we have faith that even with the drops on the concrete, water submersion, and constantly low battery that it will work and come through for us right?
God Who isn’t a battery that needs constant charging, always intact and indestructible, and already has been submerged in water and came out just without defect can do more for us than our phones ever will. God is always sending messages in our spiritual inbox with His Word and showing how much He loves us with life itself whether it be watching the sunrise or sunset, the smile of family, jokes of friends, taste of our favorite food, and tune of our favorite songs. With all that God is and has given us, that should be every reason to worship and thank Him.
Seeking and Following God Without Deliberate Distractions Is A Gift
How many us have our favorite bloggers or public figure that we follow? When we get that notification about the new blog post, live video, or Insta-story, we deliberately go out of our way to watch, hear, or read about what they have to say because we feel it’s important. We intentionally make sure that we’re not distracted and go to a place where there’s a slim chance that anyone would bother us.
Persistently pressing, seeking, communing and following God wherever He is without distraction (even if that’s away from social media) is the best place we could be. Just being in His presence alone gives peace. We feel safe, protected, free. God is a Spirit and wherever He is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17).
In God’s presence, we don’t have to worry about the demands of the endless inbox messages, pressing invites to various events, and the number of how many viewers. It’s just you and God. While you communicate and spend time searching for Him, He will be found by you. God delights in us so much and we’ll find ourselves delighting in Him also.
Like some bloggers and public figures especially on Instagram, some like to do giveaways and freebies to their FAITHFUL followers. God at times, in our search for Him, has a way of gifting His devoted followers who diligently seek Him with much more than expected. However, whether He chooses so or not, He is a gift all by Himself. So SEEK God diligently and spend time with Him.
God Shifts Your Focus On What TRULY Matters
Social Media with its “up to the second” updates has a way of quickly skewing your focus and shifting your attention on matters that overtime become trivial. These videos clips and photos that may not eventually stir emotions at first but soon weigh on us. You’ve seen them: the racially charged or political videos. That successful guy who’s self-employed, spends ridiculous money on sneakers, cars, and trips with the boys which tons of chicks who look like models surrounding him, yet NEVER seems to be broke financially. That one perfect mom who works from home, has her “beach ready” body all year round after 5 kids with an airbrushed face even when she first wakes up that also takes vacations 47 times out of the year.
We may not realize it but that takes a toll on us after a while as we start to slowly ask ourselves what we’re doing wrong and why God isn’t blessing us by giving us a life of macaroons, endless cash flow, and exotic trips 6 months out the year like He’s giving them. We end up falling into the trap and vicious cycle of mental fatigue of comparison, growing resentment, and in some cases attempting to imitate them when God called us to be like the man or woman He wants us to be.
When we step away from social media and plug into the presence of God, He reveals things about Himself on a much deeper level. Usually, it’s a level He’s been trying to get us to reach for some time. He also shifts our focus off of ourselves onto the needs of others and priorities that were neglected and unattended to.
We can REALLY focus on paying attention to the needs of our family, friends, work and projects that we’ve been putting off, MORE intentional time in His Word and in prayer. The models and the money moguls will still be there. God desire a MUCH DEEPER relationship with us.
Bottom line, its OKAY to put the phone down, unplug and disconnected from the digital world. God is ALWAYS trying to get our attention but its a matter of us wanting and choosing to be attentive. God is persistent and will flood our spiritual inbox every hour on the hour if He has to. Its time to check our notifications in the spirit.
Social media will remain and be okay with us going to take some time to be with The Lord. Your entire well-being is at stake. I strongly encourage you to try it. UNPLUG! I’ll guarantee you’ll be asking yourself and God why you didn’t do this sooner.