Last week our entire church did a fast. Fasting is simply giving up something that’s important to you as a sacrifice to grow in faith and focus. I fasted a meal per day and social media. It was an interesting week for many reasons but the lack of social media in my life was surprisingly not one of them.
A week out of the loop.
It seemed that as the week went on I was less and less concerned about what I might be “missing” while I was off the grid. There are many people with whom I communicate only through twitter. With those I used direct messages for necessary communication but as far as regular timelines and newsfeeds I was completely out of the loop.
Maybe it helped to use DMs with the people I need to get a hold of, maybe that wasn’t it but for whatever reason after a few days I didn’t miss “the loop” at all. In fact I was a bit less concerned with everyone else and got a lot accomplished for my job, family, and self.
Something to say.
I was also shocked at the fact that I didn’t feel like I had a ton to share this week. The last time I took time off I remember wishing I could tweet every other thing I did, heard, or said. Not this time. This week I wasn’t concerned much about “sharing” my life.
Sure, I posted something when one of the podcasts I host was featured on iTunes but that was something that truly involved people besides myself. In fact I felt as if the listeners and fans needed to be aware. So, I didn’t want to post every activity in my day. Only something that really did effect other people.
I started tweeting again today. I posted an announcement that I was back this morning followed by a few silly thoughts and an NFL playoff prediction later in the day. My whole purpose for taking the week off twitter and Facebook was to remove the distraction so I could focus on what’s important. I think the week has reminded me what my focus should be on everyday; relationships, both with people and with God. My kids and wife deserve my attention and my Father deserves my focus and attention as well. I’m not saying I’m going to remove social media from my life or anything. I guess I’m just thankful that the week without it has reminded me that its a tool. Its not a toy, or a game, or a friend. Its a useful form of communication and should be used as such.
What will be different?
After reading this, if you follow/friend me you may not notice a change in how I use social media. Trust me though, I’m approaching it in a new way. I am approaching it with focus, purpose, and thought. No longer posting everything that happens in my day. But instead posting about the things that make my day in hopes they can make yours too.
Author: Michael Prince
Michael Prince co-authored “What’s in Your Pocket? A parent’s guide to protecting your children online.” with his wife Melinda. They have four kids and live in an RV anywhere in the USA they see the need for an internet safety expert. Michael is leading the conversation in the American Church about family online security. He and Melinda founded BecauseFamily, a ministry that exists to inspire and equip parents to be the first influence in the lives of their children, in 2013. Michael is also a geek and loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and strategy board games.