It is a tradition in my church to kick off the New Year with a congregational 21 day fast. The idea is to remove any usual daily distractions to make room for more quality time to be with Christ. Fasting to most is usually food related which made perfect sense in the biblical era. Back then it took almost a whole day to prepare meals for a family of 12 kids & counting leaving barely any time in between to spend with God. Nowadays with eating out, gyms, events, & technology we have way more than just preparing food that can separate us from him. I LOVE Social Media! My BA is in Media communications, connecting people & creating are two things that make my adrenaline rush with pure joy. It amazes me how fast WOM travels from twitter feeds to snap chat. To be honest, I have moments scrolling through Pinterest & then glancing at the clock revealing two hours had gone by! What the heck?! Aware of my obsession with being plugged into the Matrix I knew exactly what God was going to ask me to give up for the fasting season. Yep, in obedience, I deactivated my facebook, posted one last photo on Insta & even removed Apps from all my devices. You could say I went cold turkey, at first my “like” finger did twitch a bit. As the days went by not only did I have some more time to pray & listen to God I also realized the other lifestyle benefits that come along with powering down.
#FOMO No Mo
The usual case of FOMO on weekends had been cured! Continually getting updates on local events or seeing photos of everyone “living it up” makes others feel as if their lives aren’t interesting enough. When you no longer have images of friends showcasing only their happy times, you can appreciate all the good that God has placed in YOUR life.
Allow me to ask a serious question, can you tell me how many email subscriptions you are signed up with? Many of us are guilty of mindlessly entering our info for that extra 20% percent off or to get those “VIP” only updates. Sure it feels good to be treated like the Queens we are, but in reality, all those messages filling our inboxes are just little tickets to broke-ville. With each new promotion is a sense of rationalizing getting a “good deal” that is only available NOW. Thus leading us to fill a shopping cart & swiping our plastic without thinking twice. By removing yourself from some of those lists, the impulse to buy will gradually stop & your wallet will be fuller more often.
Beauty & Booty
Okay, ladies, we are the worst when it comes to how we perceive our God-given creation. I for one am guilty of looking at another woman on a fitness post & having severe body envy. Thinking that if only I were just as pretty or as in shape like her I’d be happy. Throughout the day I’d be counting calories & passing mirrors only to see the flaws I wish could just disappear. Sounds like self-torture right? It’s kinda sick what we do to ourselves. Removing the reminders of women who are just posing in the right angle & hitting it with a Lumi light left me to love myself more. We all want to change something about ourselves like lose weight, grow a few inches taller, or work on our #bootygains. That doesn’t mean hate on how you look today. Like every work of art is different so is how HE made you which doesn’t make one anyone less than the other but just as equally beautiful.
Without having social feeds keeping me up to date with my friends & family. I actually had to dare I may say it… TEXT & CALL to get in touch. Over the last 10 years, all of our conversations are sent via photos & one-second videos. When was the last time you gave someone a ring just to say, Hi? Surprisingly enough it was refreshing to actually hear a voice on the other side & get real-time emotion even though I wasn’t standing right in front of them.
I am a huge foodie & love to try new tasty treats, but it’s funny to notice that a lot of what I choose to eat is due to food posts. Photos of Latte foam art, acai bowls & bacon wrapped whatever keeps me in a constant need to kick a craving. Since I wasn’t scrolling as much the hunt for the perfect photogenic doughnut ended & my daily food habits took a turn for the healthier.
Being 21 days unplugged is definitely a struggle, but I am glad to know that my life won’t completely implode by not posting every event. It’s nice to have some moments strictly between myself & God along with new memories created with friends that won’t be instantly diluted in sharing to the world. Now, I am not saying that I’ll never return to social media again but going forward I want to make a habit of being more intentional with what I upload or follow on feeds. How? You ask. Easy! Instead of adding profiles for the sake of “following” start weeding out which ones feed your soul compared to those that are meaningless. Find influencers that make a difference & inspire you to join a movement to make a change.
I challenge YOU to a social media fast! It can be either a day, a week, or a month but see how taking some time away from the virtual world will get you closer to how God will use you in this world.
**Truth: I did peek once or twice during the month, we are only human & will cave once in awhile. Don’t be too hard yourself, when it comes to a fast, it’s not about logistics it’s about the intention of the heart to give your time, mind, body & soul as an offering to Christ who loves you way more than you can imagine. He is so gracious to provide us with another day to try again.**