By Elise Siebert
We don’t want to admit it, but we are addicted to our phones.
Social media fills all the gaps throughout my day. I found myself going straight to Instagram and Snapchat instead of getting work done— it became a bad habit. Apple now has a feature that informs users how much screen time is used, I was spending around four hours per day on social networking. That’s four hours that I could be doing something more productive.
Everyone at church was challenged to go on a fast to start the year off with strong faith and a fresh start, I chose to go on a detox from social media for 21 days because I easily get caught up in my ‘technology profile.’
I want to see a difference during this fast. With the extra hours during the day, I plan on strengthening my faith and allowing the Lord to speak to me— and I will actually have the time to listen. I hope that I will stop procrastinating as much with my school work. I also want to focus on improving my human relationships, not my online relationships.
To start my fast, I first had to establish what I wanted to achieve and how I was going to do it. I deleted all of my social media apps to avoid temptation, and I have been informing my peers.
Waking up this morning, I naturally went straight to my phone to check Instagram. I quickly remembered my fast and decided to do a devotional instead to start the day off right.
Usually, when I get to school I sit in my car on my phone until it is time for class, but today I was more productive and read a part of my book for my English class. I left feeling like I had actually accomplished something.
Throughout the day, it became easier and easier to stay off social media.
It wasn’t until the end of the day when I had nothing else to do. Instead of sitting on my phone scrolling through Instagram, I went downstairs and talked to my parents for a while.
There was a lot of temptation throughout the day, but so far I have stuck to my fast.
The next couple days have had ups and downs. A part of me really misses social media; I realized social media is a comfort thing. Naturally, when I start to feel uncomfortable, I would go to my phone so it gives off the effect that I am doing something. Without social media, there is really no reason to be on my phone for a long period of time, so as a result, I am forced to talk to the people around me— which is actually a positive thing.
I have also been getting more work done for my classes. Getting things done ahead of time takes away some of the stress that I usually have throughout the week. It feels like some weight has been lifted off my back.
I have also been having good conversations with my boyfriend, he is doing a social media fast as well and because of this we do not have our phones as a distraction when we are together.
Today has been the easiest day so far, I am starting to focus more on my goal— to gain wisdom through the Lord. I woke up stressed and anxious about a test that I had during the day but instead of heading straight to my phone (my usual routine), I found myself in prayer. I asked for peace and for a better perspective. Though I was still overwhelmed, I felt calmer after taking time to breathe. Also, people around me know that I have been doing this fast and some have even been inspired to do one themselves.
Today has been a bit of a game changer. I have been focusing a lot on prayer and for the Lord to give me wisdom. I hung out with a close friend last night and I came to a realization that I had been distancing myself from my friend group. Distancing myself wasn’t particularly bad, because I needed to take a step back to breathe. But the Lord brought it to my attention that I need to start investing in more friendships again.
It has been the first weekend without social media. I noticed that I spent more time with my family and I set more time aside for a longer devotional. I continue to speak to the Lord more and it is honestly very encouraging.
I seem to be focusing less on my phone altogether. I don’t feel obligated to always be on it. Also, I haven’t been comparing myself to others as much, which I used to do a lot on Instagram. I have been feeling happier in my own skin.
Tonight was a girls night out. Parts of the night, all the girls would be on their phones for a short period of time. I wasn’t able to escape to my phone so I was forced to be in a little bit of an awkward situation. During dinner though, I didn’t have my phone as a distraction, and I had a lot of really good conversations. I feel like I have gotten closer to a couple of my friends.
I haven’t learned much today, I have been too distracted with school and work. I got all my things done quickly because I am learning not to procrastinate.
Throughout this fast, I have been asking God to give me opportunities to invite people to church and to talk about him. I have actually been noticing these discussions have been coming up more.
So far, I have already learned a lot about myself and my relationship with the Lord. I am excited to see how this fast will turn out in the end.