Sunday, April 20, 2014

an epilogue

[Although the purpose of this post is to discuss my time away from social media, I feel it is necessary to exclaim my delight in knowing, serving, and loving a Risen Savior!  Thank you Lord for saving me!  You came. You were one of us. You lived a holy, blameless life. You loved. You taught. You served. We crucified you and death still did not conquer You. What an awesome God we serve!]
He is risen, indeed.

"As much as I enjoy my work, I find my soul frequently calling a rest from the loud cacophony of the internet. It's too easy to confine the world to little pixels and square-shaped photos that ask for a 'like.' When I can dive into that world at any moment, from the stoplight to the church pew to the grocery line, my heart begins to hurt. The internet is clamoring for me to admire and interact with the thoughts of my friends and readers around the world, but the payment is  the three-dimensional people around me, the ones with whom I live and breathe community." - Tsh Oxenreider
I've learned a lot in my time away and I've added to this post numerous times to collect thoughts along the way. Growth is a process and sometimes you don't even realize growth unless it is documented. So welcome to this collection of thoughts on my journey. 

I was thinking in the car earlier (this sabbatical has been so gracious with lots of thinking time) about how I used to subconsciously keep up with different people via social media but truly our interactions were quite limited. I found myself following their stories and in the car, I kept wondering to myself about each of their stories... Did she have her baby yet? How have they been doing? Has she made any new quilts? And today, I will attempt to catch up on those things.

My self worth is not defined by how many likes, repins, comments or notifications I receive. I am only worthy because of Him, redeemed by His blood. I am only righteous because of His sacrifice. And though the temptation is great, I must refrain from finding worth in how popular my posts and pictures are. I must stop wondering who all thinks I'm wonderful and focus on pursuing the One who is Wonderful.

It's incredibly humbling to post on a blog only a handful of individuals read when you're detached completely from social media. Almost makes you wonder if it's worth it and then you remember that you're doing it for yourself more than anyone else.. 

I was talking with a friend this evening about the giving up of social media and how she wished she just had the will power to do it without the extremes of changing the password, etc. I knew that I would be uncommitted if I had done that. It's a humbling thought to realize you don't have the self-discipline to take away an overly enjoyed indulgence. But also it's a freeing thought that there's no way to manipulate your mind into justifying the actions in breaking your commitment. 

I've become increasingly aware of people on their cell phones. I see how it bothers me that I don't have something to look at on my phone and how oblivious I was to the amount of times people check their phones. I've watched countless dinner conversations at restaurants become non-existent as one or both parties become preoccupied in their smart phones. It seems to be the great tragedy of the first world: this life support we've hooked ourselves up to that seems to be doing the exact opposite. We seek to stay connected, yet we are disconnecting from those we are closest to. We don't even have time for the things we enjoy because we've become too preoccupied in virtual reality, what we aspire and "appear" to be.

I wish I could say that I didn't miss it, that it was easy for me to give this up for seven weeks. But it wasn't.  There were many times I just wanted to escape via pinterest and I'm still hoping to avoid a pinterest binge when I return.  I used social media as an escape, a detox if you will and when I had to deal, instead of avoid, it made me want to forget about this whole thing. Sure, I accomplished a lot. My whole kitchen got rearranged, our front bedroom is usable again, I sewed a lot, wrote letters, tried new  recipes, caught up on sleep, had intentional friend/spouse/family time, and most importantly spent more time with the Lord. I also realized how dependent the internet is on facebook.  I couldn't access spotify unless Shea typed in my password. I couldn't comment on certain blogs or sign in to other sites because of their direct link to facebook.

I also had to come to the realization that  the world didn't stop just because I got off social media. I had to be intentional about asking people to see photos they shared on facebook or asking them about how their weekend was.  We take for granted that with one click all our friends "know" what we are up to, what we just bought, how we are feeling, etc. Overall, I discovered I could survive and live a healthy life without social media. Sure, I'm chomping at the bit to post photos on instagram again, but this was a much needed break. I have been blessed by my time away, even if it proved inconvenient at times.
Thank you Lord for spurring my heart to remove the social media idols I created and continue to guard my heart from re-creating them.
in case you've missed me, you can catch up here.