Am I the Only One Struggling with Social Media Fatigue?
Two years ago I found myself social media fatigued and highly convicted.
Eastern Australia’s tropical inland city of Toowoomba is as random a setting as my sense of humor. In the Spring of 2015, I was speaking on whether social media was healthy. Emboldened by the transparent dialogue of my fellow panelists (BadChristian’s Matt, Toby, Joey, and a therapist), I came clean on my social media habits at the time.
Back then I flicked through Instagram prior to sleep, if/when I awoke to urinate, and again first thing on waking. The addiction-therapist turned on me declaring my status as social media addicted.
In my red-handed public admission of guilt, I asked the addiction specialist for advice. He confidently shared how he was once just like me until he made a conscious decision to stop sleeping with his iPhone.
I returned home announcing (much to the comical delight of my highly skeptical family) that I’d made up my mind. I would stop sleeping with my iPhone and break up with Instagram. Then the blog, shortly followed by Facebook.
Once I began moving away from the need for constant social posting (and equally constant social gorging), I began uncovering three unsettling realizations:
1. Likes were how I defined deepening friendships.
2. For someone who has struggled with porn for 31 years, Instagram had routinely served as my Marijuana gateway into Heroin trappings. I enjoyed the social fluff too much to cut off my right hand and throw it away.
3. I wasn't enjoying wonderful moments simply because they were wonderful, I was mostly enjoying them for the quality of their "shared" value.
Instead of spending considerable time posting in public, I did write quietly and consistently. The result of focused, writing in secret? 65,000+ words. Enough for a book and several digital resources.
I'm slowly and awkwardly crawling out of a 28 month social media hibernation, still refreshing Facebook and then catching myself in the goofy act of hoping my words are well received. That's not bad, sinful or wrong, but it's all three when my identity becomes more influenced by how you respond to me than how graciously Jesus sees me.
Here are a few things I'm doing differently this time around:
1. Writing to serve. Writing to encourage.
2. Staying broken up with Instagram. My addictive personality and past mean no Instagram for me.
3. Sharing stories when I'm meant to, and by grace, withholding when I'm meant to.
4. Presenting my experiences and thoughts from a deeper level of heart, even if or when they make me out to seem less spiritual.
5. Charging my iPhone night after night in the dining room.
To Matt, Toby, Joey (and the therapist): my life and marriage are better because you challenged me toward freedom by way of bolder transparency. Thank you.
Am I the only one struggling with social media fatigue?