Social Media Fast? My Experience
This past weekend I went on a social media fast and God has led me to share my experience with you! Maybe you’d like to do a social media fast yourself or are just curious about my experience, either way, you’re in good company.
Let me start off by saying this fast was completely unexpected. Prior to my fast, I had been struggling immensely with an old habit. You know that thing that you do subconsciously, not realizing its destructive, or maybe you realize its destructive but you lowkey don’t care? It was one of those habits. I began to do this thing knowing that it wasn’t okay and I was in a constant battle with myself because I felt myself straying away in my relationship with God.
I was still doing my daily devotions & spending time with the Lord but It wasn’t quality time. I felt very much like I had one foot in the world with one foot out and I felt very uneasy about it. I felt like the biggest hypocrite; I was sharing the wisdom the Lord had given me but I wasn’t actually following through on any of the things I preached.
This is when I came across a video from Alyssa Danae, an awesome woman of God on youtube. You can check the video out HERE if you’d like. In the video, Alyssa spoke about a prayer that a friend of her’s prayed over herself and in that moment I just felt compelled to pray that very prayer over myself. So I paused the video and I prayed like I’ve never prayed before. It was one of those prayers that instantly brought me to tears and I just knew that it was what I needed. Once I finished praying, I felt the Lord tell me to go on a Social Media Fast.
When he told me this, every ounce of me wanted so badly to disregard it. Social Media is basically my life, but it was also the thing that fed my habit. Deep down, I knew it was the right thing to do and I felt like this was something I needed to do not only because it would help me out but because it would prove my faithfulness to the Lord.
So without third thought (because the second thought was out of the question), I agreed. Within 20 minutes of that prayer, I had updated all of my social media family to let them know that I would be gone and I deleted everything from my phone. I had my time frame set – 3 days (Thursday @ 6 pm -Sunday @ 6 pm) and I was ready! (Well as ready as one can be in my situation. I’m being slightly dramatic)
Day 1 – Thursday Night/Friday
Already within 20 minutes, I was ready to call it quits. (Sad, I know). I wanted to go back to that habit but my faithfulness to the Lord is very important to me and this was what I really needed.
Friday rolls around, I’m 12 ish hours in and the only thought in my mind (I kid you not), was “Today is going to be so awkward, I can’t use my phone as a distraction in awkward situations.” When you cut something from your life, it’s easy to see just how much of an impact that thing really had.
As the day progressed, It was so weird to see the people around me on their phones knowing that I couldn’t do the same. You know that moment when you’re on a diet you notice how yummy everyone else’s food looks? It was just like that except in my situation it was social media.
I will admit, there were times where I would unlock my phone and stare blankly at the home screen for a ridiculous amount of time just to catch myself and sadly put my phone down. I’m sure I got plenty of looks throughout the day. (I wonder if they knew I was dying inside. I’m kidding of course!) The day ended and I was just happy to be that much closer to completing my fast.
Day 2 – Saturday
You know how you wake up not fully comprehending what’s going on but then realize minutes later? That was how my Saturday morning went. It was great until I remembered that I was still on this social media fast but to my surprise, I was pretty okay with it. I had a TON of homework to catch up on and the distraction-free time sounded perfect. In fact, it sounded too perfect. Although my phone is a major distraction, I’ve got ADHD and can make a distraction out of just about everything.
I thought it would be the perfect time to create a prayer wall for my room. I took a white poster board decorated with ducktape around the border and used stencils to decorate it. Then I began to put all of my prayer requests on it with sticky notes and felt compelled to pray. It dawned on me that one of the reasons why I had wanted to do this social media fast was to spend more meaningful time with the Lord and I hadn’t been doing so. So I stopped and prayed for literally 20 minutes and that was probably the best 20 minutes I’ve ever spent; I’ve never felt closer to the Lord.
Day 3 – Sunday – Can I Get An Amen!
It’s now Sunday and I’m with it. I’m like “Social media who?”. My mom, brother and I had been planning to go to Cincinnati to visit family and I hadn’t had much time to think about much of anything. We left around 7:30 am and it wasn’t until later that day when we went out to lunch at a place in Kentucky that I remembered my fast. When we crossed the bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky, I felt the need to Snapchat. (ya know cause Geo filters are a thing and my 32 Snapchat friends needed to know that I was in Kentucky.) Yeah, it was rough, especially because my brother was snapping away.
I had such a great time with my family that I completely forgot that my fast ended that night. It wasn’t until around 4 pm that I remembered and of course got instantly excited, but this time it was different. 6 pm quickly approached and I just wasn’t that excited about downloading everything again. I honestly felt kind of Guilty. Like although this weekend had its moments, I really did enjoy the peace that came along with not having social media. So I pushed it off for a couple more hours. I was able to complete the bulk of my homework (Because I procrastinated the ENTIRE weekend) and then decided to end my fast.
Day 3 – Sunday – FAST COMPLETED
I redownloaded social media at 8 pm and I instantly felt a difference. The peace that I had was gone and I felt the same pressure that I felt prior to the fast to keep up with all of my social media. However, the original habit that prompted this whole experience is a lot better and I feel like I’ve learned so much from the past 3 days. Just to name a few:
- I’ve learned that social media isn’t real life. Yes, it’s nice to have 500+ facebook friends but its so unnatural and totally unnecessary.
- Social media is a distraction (The Lord knows the last thing I need is another distraction!) – I was using social media as a distraction. Instead of spending meaningful time with myself and my God I would mindlessly scroll on social media taking in anything and everything for hours on end. It’s incredibly unhealthy and it really affects your peace of mind.
- I was living my life behind a screen. The minute I redownloaded my social media apps, I immediately felt trapped in its depths. The fact that I had my phone in my hand for 30 minutes straight just scrolling on social media was shocking to me. I literally couldn’t put my phone down. I felt the need to constantly check my notifications and the sight of notifications on my lock screen (instead of the blank screen I experienced this weekend) suddenly gave me anxiety.
- having time away from social media is good. Although I really missed my social media family, I have never felt so much peace and I feel like I left a toxic part of me behind. 3 days may seem short, but I really do feel as if I have grown exponentially in my faith which was essentially the whole point of this fast.
Overall Reflection & What’s Next?
This social media fast made me realize that although I rededicated my life to Christ 3 months ago submitting my life to his will, there were still some things that I was holding on to. I realized that yes, I gave him control of the major thing in my life at the time, but there were other things that I needed to give to him to continue to grow. This fast brought these things to light and I am very happy to say that I have given these things to the Lord and already feel SO much better. Actually, This brings me to my next little announcement!
Are ya ready? (It’s semi anti-climatic)
I am starting a 30 day “no spend” fast/challenge. I completely made this up hence the name, but I think it’s going to be incredibly beneficial. Be on the lookout for a blog post explaining this 30 fast/challenge with information and updates and make sure you sign up for my email list so you’ll be the first to know!
If you’re interested in doing a social media fast I say go for it! You really have nothing to lose (Other than social media of course). It’s made such a huge impact on my life from just 3 days and you can set the length for however long you wish. Don’t let simple excuses stop you. Before starting mine, I really didn’t think I could do it, but of course, If you trust in the Lord you can make it through anything.
You are loved <3