This past weekend, in response to a Facebook activity, I took a 24-hour “break” from all social media: Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. It was strange at first, however I managed to persevere through the weekend. In the end, I found it to be quite the needed break. Plus, I had no withdrawal symptoms!
For a blissful 24-hours, I didn’t look at: someone’s travel selfie taken somewhere on Earth; a quasi-inspirational/churchy piece; the latest Trump/Clinton rant; bad news; another historical piece on someone’s oppression; the “Type ‘Like’ if…” segment; droll humor; a too-long video explaining little; the “I love my spouse/kid/pet/parent/etc” piece; etc… For twenty four hours I felt truly detached. I read. I relaxed. I tuned into life.
This break changed my way of “hooking in” to the world. Today, we are always “on” some social media: Facebook, Instagram, EyeEm, Buzz, Twitter, Linkedin, you name it. We constantly read posts, ogle at pictures, read and tweet tweets, see who’s in our networks; made to feel as if we “lose” out on something if we’re not connected. However, too much connection causes us to lose our “Me time” (to quote my Pastor). We begin to live vicariously whilst letting other people into our personal space. Our unique God-given “Me” is subsumed into a digital mass-consumed “We”. Plus, our individual thoughts get into lock-step with others to the place where dissent is discouraged. If taken to the ultimate extreme, we will lose touch with our environments: restaurant; social event; church; etc.
Jesus saw this in his disciples in the above verse. They were so going about the work that they didn’t have time to eat. Jesus obviously knew the approaching danger: without rest, his disciples would go hungry, break down physically (and quite possibly mentally), and become bitter. Jesus had his posse break away from the environment so they could be alone and recharge. And these cats didn’t have social media. And speaking of cats, those are my two in the above photo enjoying a break!
I’m not demonizing social media; it has its good parts and has helped me as a photographer. However, one must find balance and take time from social media so to rest themselves. Whether if it’s mini-breaks for a specified time (like I did), limiting use to once or twice a day for 15 minutes each time, or a indefinite hiatus from social media. Some have dropped social media altogether. Whatever you do, make sure you detach for some time so you can reconnect with the you God created you to be…
…You’ll find it a much needed break!