things for 31 days · things i think

Social Media

Yesterday I started a 31-day series that I am calling the October 31 Post Challenge because I don’t know the real name for it. Check yesterday’s post to see the beginning!

Yesterday I wrote about paring *stuff* in my life down. Practically, this meant releasing myself from the pressures I had created to do lots of different activities and hobbies. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been interested in lots of different passions, but I would usually drop one when I picked a new one up. In recent years, and especially with the growth of social media, I am adding and adding things, but not dropping any.

Cru at Virginia Tech used to do a fast from Facebook every February, aptly named Facebook-Free February. Now is my time to confess to the internet that I never participated – even when I was on staff and had pledged to do it! Yeesh. I was too, too afraid! I knew I was addicted to Facebook, and I suppose I didn’t trust God to sustain me if I cut off ties for one long (short) month.

This year I finally got up the nerve to try it. I logged out and had Whit make me a new password. I cheated a little bit, because I had to for work (seriously!!). But I also cheated a little bit for me, too. *Shameful monkey emoji* Even though I cheated a little bit, the fast was SO rewarding! Not because I was being super spiritual and spending way more time with Jesus during my extra time, but just because I didn’t feel so weighed down by the junk that is Facebook.

Since then, I’ve done a few different social media pare-downs (not exactly fasts). I wanted Whit to keep my Facebook password and planned to only check it on weekends, but needing Facebook for work, and having other apps use my Facebook login made that too tedious and inconvenient. I also tried limiting blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Except for Instagram. Instagram is my social media happy place.

It’s taken work, but I think I’m in a good place now. I don’t have Twitter installed on my phone, and I typically only look at Pinterest if I need it for something, am really really bored, or can successfully look at it for only a short amount of time. I only look at photography blogs when I feel like (I used to check them compulsively), which is usually once every few days or every few weeks. It helps that my two favorite photography blogs don’t post often (or at all) anymore. (Which is sad, but good on another level.) I unfollowed several blogs that were unnecessary to me (time wasters), and kept the ones that I felt more enriched by, either because they inspired me or because I wanted to keep up with that person’s life. I started a Facebook routine that has been going super well! I only check it right when I wake up, or right before I go to sleep. Sometimes not even that, because I’m too tired or don’t have much time and I’d rather do something else.

This has been really working for me! What have you done to not allow social media to rule your life?

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