Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Bright Side of Going Dark

Last week I did the unthinkable—I stayed away from social media. I only visited Facebook long enough to honor my commitment to an authors’ network, wish my son Christian a Happy Birthday, and promote an event that I knew Christian was excited about. I clicked on a couple of “tweetable” quotes in blog posts that I liked, but other than that my Twitter account remained silent. When my usual day for posting on my blog rolled around, I took a break from that, too. Why? 

Here are my honest reasons:

1)    I find that when I visit Facebook too often, I struggle with envy. There were things that I wanted to be doing last week but couldn’t, so I decided that the best way to avoid falling into a sulky mindset was to focus on what God had for me each day instead of what He had for others.

2)    I have been feeling uncertain about my blog lately. What am I really trying to say? Have I lost my focus? Did I ever have a focus? Do my weekly postings about what God teaches me through my very ordinary everyday life offer anything of substance?  

3)    I really REALLY wanted to take a few uninterrupted days to work on a new fiction project. Before I got too attached to the vision that was taking shape, I needed to lock myself in my room with the characters and see if we got along and if I wanted to hang out in their world for an extended period of time. Did I care about their problems? Would anyone else care? 

4)    As wonderful and useful as social media is, it’s distracting and addictive. I felt like it was time to rein that in. 

5)    After a few weeks that included a difficult editing project and an assignment that I needed to finish quickly after getting behind on it, my mind felt cluttered. It craved a mini “retreat” where I could devote time to writing something that flowed from my own creativity.

I’m halfway into a new week and I don’t regret the break at all. I mapped out a new novel, spent extra time with God, and recognized some areas where I need to be more disciplined. I am re-entering the social media world slowly. As a writer, I know it is a necessary part of my day, but I also want to use my hours wisely, knowing there is so much more to life than blogs, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and even (I can’t believe I’m saying this) writing.

I think I’ll pull away from social media more often.
Have you ever taken a break from technology or social media? Why or why not? If you did take one, how did you benefit from it?       
(This was cross-posted.)

1 comment:

Diana P said...

"Do my weekly postings about what God teaches me through my very ordinary everyday life offer anything of substance?"

Yes! As a fellow blogger, I have wondered this as well! God is always faithful to use the words of our testimony to accomplish exactly what He wants them to. Be encouraged, your words are not wasted.