"Even salt looks like sugar."
I'll admit, I'm as millennial as it gets when it comes to social media. As a blogger, a 20 year old female, and someone who aspires to work in media I love and completely acknowledge the power of social media.
That's exactly why I thought I was going to lose my everlasting mind earlier this summer when God was calling me to fast from social media. I had just went through a pretty tough heartbreak right towards the end of the school year and the beginning of the engagement season. I still hadn't gotten an internship and summer was swiftly approaching. A lot of people on my feed were starting to post graduation pictures, graduate school decision letters, and job offer emails. I was completely immersed in their life, their happiness, and slowly losing my own.
God tugged at my heart to unplug and I'm as stubborn as a mule so I told Him it wasn't happening. Then, I did something that most heartbroken millennials do: I checked my ex's Twitter page. I convinced myself I wasn't doing it to see if he missed me but rather because I hadn't heard from him in a while (what a lie y'all). LOL the joke was on me, he was tweeting about wanting to smash some random Twitter honey and I was HURT. God asked me again: are you ready to take that break? My friend Chauncey literally texted our group message less than a minute after I logged off Twitter. She offered to fast with any of us because she had seen the benefits of fasting especially from social media. Finally I said "dang God I get it" and reached out to her.
I deleted all my social media apps for a week and when I tell you I flourished in the span of a week..WHOOO! I grew so much in such a short amount of time that I decided to extend it to two weeks. So here's what I gained/learned in those two weeks.
1. Social media is a filter:
All that glitters ain't gold and even salt looks like sugar. Social media allows you to see people's highlight reels, their best moments. The longer I was off social media, the more I had genuine conversations with people. In many of those conversations I realized that while many of my friends had awesome lives, they were still struggling in some aspect of their lives. Some of my married friends were struggling within their marriages, some of my graduated friends were getting depressed while searching for jobs, some of my friends with jobs were barely making ends meet, etc. People show you what they want to show you and oftentimes that isn't the hard times. What seemed like a sweet life via Twitter, was in some cases really salty.
2. Fear of missing out isn't as bad as you think
I had intense FOMO before I fasted from social media. I mean who else is going to make me laugh like Black Twitter? How else would I know which one of my high school friends is getting married without Facebook? Honestly, it really wasn't that deep after a few days. My friends made me laugh more than Black Twitter ever could and anyone that wanted me to know about something big in their life, well, they did it the old fashion way and texted or called me. In fact, my fast forced people to reach out to me and vice versa. I reconnected with so many people just in the span of two weeks.
3. Comparison truly is the thief of joy:
Spending loads of time looking at other people's relationships, jobs, successes and happiness won't make you any more likely to gain those things. In fact, comparing the season in your life to their season might be what's blocking you from those things. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says " To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." This season that you're in might be preparing you to receive all that God has for you but if you're comparing yourself to others can you really rejoice for what God has done and will do in your life? Comparison convinces you that you are being forsaken by God, that you are forgotten, which is a straight up lie. Send that lie back to Hell where it came from and remember that He's never left you before.
4. I became more present
Without a Snapchat app to post everything on, I was forced to really be present in my experiences (oh the horrors). Within those two weeks I did so many cool things from taking a trip to the zoo, trying new restaurants, going to art galleries, and everything in between. The weeks were filled with good laughs, good food, good people, and good vibes. Instead of proving to people who weren't there I was having a good time, I just had a good time. Without social media you spend more time listening to people instead of halfway listening while simultaneously scrolling on Instagram.
5. Your productivity doesn't need to be proven
The two weeks I wasn't on social media were easily the two most productive weeks of my semester. Instead of consistently posting about how busy I was, I just took care of the stuff I needed to take care of. I slept 10x better because I didn't stay up an extra 30 minutes scrolling through Twitter and then I could actually wake up early and make it to the 6:30 AM yoga class I kept sleeping through. I couldn't hop on Snapchat when I wanted to procrastinate my homework, so I sucked it up and did it. Your productivity doesn't always need to be proven, sometimes you just need to be productive. The end.
6. Sometimes He's calling you to focus on Him
Social media was acting as a major distraction during that time in my life. Especially through my disheartening internship search process. God was calling me to rest in Him but I was so anxious to do everything my way. During those two weeks, I fasted and prayed for His will to be done in my life and that's what happened. The week after my social media fast I received an internship after 8 months of applying. During those two weeks I also dedicated my summer to flourishing and growing more in Him and that's exactly what has happened.
Everything looks good through sepia filters and well thought out tweets. The saltiest of lives look sweet on social media. Consider taking time to step away from social media, even if it's just an app at a time or a day at a time. You'll find that the sweetest parts of life are found in the moments that you weren't doing it for the 'gram.