There has been this nagging thing on my mind for a couple months now. This thought that keeps coming back and won’t leave me alone. At first I ignored it. I’ve tried this before, I said to myself. It didn’t work, I said. I pushed away the thought and told myself that I didn’t need to do anything drastic. But still, the conviction and the sense that this was more than just a passing idea kept pressing on my heart.
Then, while answering a question in a Facebook group, I was confronted head on with this idea again in the form of this blog post by Kari Denker. Kari is someone I respect. She is a mom with older children and a knack for teaching the Bible in an approachable way. And yet, here she was on her blog, confessing to this same problem that I had been ignoring in my own life. I knew I couldn’t ignore my own issue any longer.
So, what is this big issue that I’ve been pushing aside for so long, you ask? Social media. Yup. It’s become a problem for me. Again. If you’ve been around my blog since the beginning, you may remember I wrote a little about struggling with overuse of the internet way back in August 2017. At the time, we were moving, and we had very limited internet access. Not anymore. We’ve got unlimited data, baby. I can watch all the Instagram stories I want, no problem!
But wait, actually, that IS a problem!
You see, I have noticed over the last couple of month that my use of the internet, particularly from the convenience of my smartphone, has become a bit of a compulsion. I find myself pulling up Facebook and checking my notifications there while listening to my son’s narrations during school time. I realized that I even take my phone to the bathroom so that I can scroll Instagram while ignoring the kids screaming at each other over Legos in the other room.
Just typing those words makes my skin crawl with conviction. I don’t know if it makes me sound like a bit of an addict to you, but it sure doesn’t sit well with me. So I’m quitting social media…
I know that might sound drastic to a lot of people. It feels kind of drastic to me at times. At the moment, I am only committing to staying off Instagram, Facebook and similar sites (Pinterest included) for the month of October. I foresee, however, needing more time than that. Kari says she is going to stay off for the coming year, and I would love to say I could do that, too. I have left Facebook before for long periods. As I said above, I didn’t feel like it worked. But I had a very poor support system in those times, and I also was in an already unhealthy emotional space. I’m healthier now, and I have some real life friends and connections in the local area that I think can become a good support system for me.
Besides all that, I believe that this is a step of obedience that God has been asking of me for some time. I don’t want to keep disobeying Him any longer. I want to follow His lead and see where it will take me. I know blessing is in store.
I will be writing more on this subject soon. Because I can’t get it off my mind, and I have a lot more to say about my why’s and wherefore’s. I also have a lot of hopes for this time, as well as some fears. So, I hope you will keep coming back to this space and praying for me as I join this “Luddite Experiment.” And perhaps you, too, will consider joining?
The following links are some of the things that have given inspiration and been the impetus of the timing of this decision of mine. I hope you will check them out if you want to learn more!
Kari Denker’s original post on “The Luddite Experiment”
Joy Clarkson’s podcast episode “Do Something that Won’t Compute”