So I’m here. I’m back from my 2-week social media fast. (Read more about the lead-up at June Media Blackout)
What strikes me the most looking back is what didn’t happen during my self-imposed blackout.
I didn’t log back on and become disgusted at the always-logged-on world. In fact, I found I could live without it easily but I realized how much I had missed out on while I was gone. Photos, events, conversations, and important updates that I was oblivious to – not to fault anyone but myself for not checking those media, albeit intentionally so.
I didn’t come back to social media with a holier-than-thou attitude. I came back to vibrant communities still carrying on important conversations and bonding.
I didn’t leave social media and feel free. It was difficult. It was intentional. After awhile, I did cave and check how many notifications I had – but I didn’t click on them. It was isolating knowing that there were things happening and I wasn’t a part of them but it was a reminder to refocus on the reasons I was doing it.
I didn’t come back from an intense spiritual high or mountain-top experience like I’d hoped I would have. There certainly were moments where I keenly felt the pull between breaking the fast and picking up a Bible and it wasn’t a choice, it was obvious. Removing the distractions certainly made those choices easier but they were still choices.
I didn’t meet my own expectations. I didn’t journal every day, spend hours in prayer, work on all my projects, or gain tons more free time.
Was it a success? Yes, I survived. It wasn’t all mediocre and depressing either. I have opted to only download certain social media apps back to my phone to limit the pull of some sites on my constant need to add or check updates.
Will I do it again? If I need to, yes. It’s a repeatable exercise, and one that has various positive outcomes and will differ every time.
Do I recommend a social media fast? It depends. High expectations are likely to go unmet, while low expectations can defeat the purpose, whatever you determine that to be.
I’m still processing much of what did (or didn’t) happen during those weeks and trying to get caught up on what I missed. I do want to engage anyone who has questions or comments, so please reach out here or by email.