Often times, I will take a break from social media, typically because I am fiercely praying for something to occur in my life or am in need of spiritual discernment and clarity, and social media has a way of distracting me from being in the presence of God. Other times, I unplug simply because I have to regain control of my own energy. As much of an extrovert as I consider myself to be, someone who loves going out and being around others, and exchanging vibes with amazing people, my need for SPACE has increased in the last few years.
Most consider space as something that can only be consumed physically, but people and things can occupy your mental and emotional space as well. That’s how social media tends to work. It allows others into your ideal reality and gives them space in the world you have created online. It also allows them to infiltrate your space with their perception of the world around them. Every post paints a perfect picture, with the exception of the 10% of vulnerable spirits on your timeline who are willing to share those dark moments. Whether positive or negative in perspective, online communities have opened the doors of comparison, envy, depression and the like, while closing the gap between genuine interpersonal relationships and self-reflection.
“For me, UNPLUGGING = ME + GOD, because anything extra is just a distraction.”
So sometimes it’s required of me to take a break to focus on who I am, outside of the filtered posts, the staged photo shoots, and the inspirational quotes. By the time I decide that a social fast is necessary, I could be on the brink of an emotional breakdown from taking in everyone else’s false realities, because let’s be real, while we all are trying to live our best lives, nobody wants to show the moments where we fail at doing so.
SPACE doesn’t just include logging out of and silencing all notifications for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, it’s also placing my phone on “Do Not Disturb” (DND), preventing any and everyone from contacting me. Why? Because sometimes that’s how I like it. Sometimes I don’t want to be a listening ear or a welcoming smile for company, especially if I’m dealing with my own issues. For me, UNPLUGGING = ME + GOD, because anything extra is just a distraction.
“Sometimes it’s required of me to take a break to focus on who I am, outside of the filtered posts, the staged photo shoots, and the inspirational quotes.”
What do I do when I unplug?
I’m constantly in prayer when I unplug. I engage in daily devotions, but these times tend to be longer and more genuine when I’m not in a rush to post or like something on IG. What am I praying about? Everything from my purpose to my marriage to my life’s desires…clarity, discernment, increased faith, wisdom…peace in this chaotic world…EVERYTHING!
Prayer opens the lines of communication with God that can become blurred with other people’s ideas, thoughts and problems. It also reminds me that my first confidant should be God and not my husband, best friend or random online followers. That’s one lesson I’ve always learned the hard way. God should be my first line of defense and not my last resort. Sometimes it is easier to see that when I’m unplugged from the world around me.
Most of my prayers are written down in my journal. It’s a method I started several years back because it keeps me focused during my prayer time. It’s a lot harder to get distracted during prayer if I’m actively writing it on paper. Aside from prayers, of course I jot down my thoughts and feelings, current circumstances and “impossible” dreams.
When journaling, I don’t hold anything back. I speak to God based on how I’m truly feeling. If I’m angry, He hears it. Because what type of relationship do we have if I can’t come to God straight up?
During the fast, I will reflect on why I needed it so that the next time I engage in one, it’s not because of regressive behavior. It also helps me to return to my social life in a different space with a rejuvenated spirit. Sometimes I’m able to come up with a plan of action for how I will engage with others from then on, especially if my reason for unplugging had anything to do with the negative energy I found in my space from social interactions. For me, unplugging is similar to the idea of giving up something for Lent. The whole purpose is to change during the process so that when Lent is over, you don’t go back to that habit with the same mindset, vulnerable to the same issues.
I unplug maybe 2-3 times a year, if not more, and the time can range anywhere from a week to a month or longer. The goal is to return in a state of mind conducive for progress and elevation. Don’t hesitate to log out of your accounts, or if you’re like me, completely delete the apps from your phone, and even set times during the day for your phone to silence all calls and notifications. I promise the world won’t end because you’re taking time for your spiritual, mental and emotional selves.
Try it out and share the results. Or if you’re no stranger to unplugging, tell me about why you do it and what impact it has had on your overall well-being.