10 Surprising Things I Learned after Quitting Social Media

It got to me, too. The constant inundation of advertising and unattainable comparisons drove me into a season of distraction and discontent. My failure to fully engage in a conversation was frightening, and the time that I spent scrolling through feeds and updated statuses was embarrassing, at best. This girl, that wants to be friends with everyone, got a little lost where new friends seem to be never-ending.

So I left social media for a while. My complete evacuation stemmed from some bad advice, which I digested amidst the sea of swirling opinions that I subjected myself to all day, every day. After abstaining for a month or so, I slowly began process some important lessons I learned in the quiet season of my smartphone. Like anything in life, social media is something for which we have to construct healthy boundaries. It’s not going away, and it’s fun! But there are some important pros and cons that I concluded after my brief step away from it. I’m no expert on mental or spiritual health, but here’s what I took away from my digital vacation.

Click here to continue reading …

“Faith for Exiles,” by David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock

“Faith for Exiles,” by David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock, gives readers, “5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Bablyon.” The topic is relevant, and the content is backed by the latest Barna research. The Five Practices are the five main chapters of the book. In each chapter, research is presented against a Biblical  backdrop. The visual learning tools the authors have provided help solidify the basis for all points presented. Each chapter poses a challenge, with a solution. “To Form a Resiliane Identity,” the authors engage, “Experience Intimacy with Jesus.” 

“Hearing from God isn’t some spooky, transcendental thing in which our eyes glaze over and God takes over our bodies,” write Kinnaman and Matlock, “it’s an everyday reliance on God and dependence on his presence.” 

There are two breakout sections highlight by green pages throughout the book. The first, “Qoheleth’s Discerment Method,” and the latter, “Mentoring in a Digital Babylon.” Both provide insightful information and helpful tools in refining the faith in young adults. The book is smartly written and it’s evident the authors put much time and care in to the careful crafting of this message. 

I recommend this book, not only for young adults, but especially for those who are leading and raising them. Just because we didn’t grow up in their digitally immersed generation doesn’t mean we cannot relate to them relevantly. 

“Clearing the identity and religions clutter to become actual followers of Jesus is a path too rarely taken.” David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock, “Faith for Exiles.”

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

Click here to purchase your copy of “Faith for Exiles.”

The Feeds (#jammed daily devo, day 174)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 174: Scroll to find the light.

“Disabled Man: Kind Sir, I wait, like all of these people, for the waters to stir; but I cannot walk. If I am to be healed in the waters, someone must carry me into the pool. Without a helping hand, someone else beats me to the water’s edge each time it is stirred.” John 5:7 (VOICE)June 23

The man in today’s verse is discouraged. He’s let what’s happening around him, and what other people are doing, affect his faith that Jesus can heal him. He’s talking to Jesus. Hello ..Savior of the world …God’s only Son …spotless Lamb … but the man’s mind has become so clouded by what’s streaming past his line of sight that he can’t fathom the miracle that is about to happen to him.

Social media numbs us like this. Even when we realize it’s a collective highlight real, we still look and look and look until comparison seeps in to our skin and starts to make us itch for something we don’t have …to live somewhere God hasn’t placed us …to have a career we weren’t called to …to look like we weren’t made to …to believe what’s not true …and behave like we don’t believe in anything.

When we live by social media standards, it begins to chip away at our self-worth. When we live by God’s standards, we light up the dark. After much frustration with social media and a temporary removal from it …I decided to stay in the fight. Because that’s what it is. That’s where the people are. That’s where hurt people are, disguised as happy highlight reals, and crying out to acquaintances for help.

Where ever God’s people gather together to seek Him and know Him …He is there. Even amoungst social media. The God that created people and communication in the first place is surely present amoung so many of His children. Children that Jesus died to save. People He knit from the inside out. People that are purposed to serve and follow and glow in the dark.

Don’t back down from the fight. When it get’s ugly, get in the Word. Stay in prayerful conversation. But don’t leave it pitch black out there.

 …“someone must carry me into the pool…”

 “without a helping hand, somebody else beats me to the pool ever time…”

We can’t help the blind and the poor if we hide from them. Not everyone that needs us is on social media …but a lot are.

Be there because He’s there.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for social media. Thank You for the many languages and ways in which we communicate with each other …and You. Forgive us for running away when it gets hard and annoying. Forgive our judgement on others. We are called to be there, and be light. Send your Spirit to strengthen us to do just that, all the days of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Scrolling,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Feeds (#jammed daily devo, day 174)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 174: Scroll to find the light.

“Disabled Man: Kind Sir, I wait, like all of these people, for the waters to stir; but I cannot walk. If I am to be healed in the waters, someone must carry me into the pool. Without a helping hand, someone else beats me to the water’s edge each time it is stirred.” John 5:7 (VOICE)June 23

The man in today’s verse is discouraged. He’s let what’s happening around him, and what other people are doing, affect his faith that Jesus can heal him. He’s talking to Jesus. Hello ..Savior of the world …God’s only Son …spotless Lamb … but the man’s mind has become so clouded by what’s streaming past his line of sight that he can’t fathom the miracle that is about to happen to him.

Social media numbs us like this. Even when we realize it’s a collective highlight real, we still look and look and look until comparison seeps in to our skin and starts to make us itch for something we don’t have …to live somewhere God hasn’t placed us …to have a career we weren’t called to …to look like we weren’t made to …to believe what’s not true …and behave like we don’t believe in anything.

When we live by social media standards, it begins to chip away at our self-worth. When we live by God’s standards, we light up the dark. After much frustration with social media and a temporary removal from it …I decided to stay in the fight. Because that’s what it is. That’s where the people are. That’s where hurt people are, disguised as happy highlight reals, and crying out to acquaintances for help.

Where ever God’s people gather together to seek Him and know Him …He is there. Even amoungst social media. The God that created people and communication in the first place is surely present amoung so many of His children. Children that Jesus died to save. People He knit from the inside out. People that are purposed to serve and follow and glow in the dark.

Don’t back down from the fight. When it get’s ugly, get in the Word. Stay in prayerful conversation. But don’t leave it pitch black out there.

 …“someone must carry me into the pool…”

 “without a helping hand, somebody else beats me to the pool ever time…”

We can’t help the blind and the poor if we hide from them. Not everyone that needs us is on social media …but a lot are.

Be there because He’s there.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for social media. Thank You for the many languages and ways in which we communicate with each other …and You. Forgive us for running away when it gets hard and annoying. Forgive our judgement on others. We are called to be there, and be light. Send your Spirit to strengthen us to do just that, all the days of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Scrolling,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

The Book of Happy Faces

To combat the darkness ever permeate in the atmosphere, I choose to unearth the joy of Jesus by following the happy faces.  Facebook…Twitter-verse…Instagram…Pinterest…my news feeds looks like a Christian motivational speaker threw up all over them and then added glitter.  Facebook can be a platform for the positive and encouraging, or it can be a festering blister of negativity that haunts my bright little screen.

“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Matthew 12:34

It’s not reality, and there’s only 1,440 minutes in my day. The excessive amount of ranting that opportunely may drench my day cannot always be shut off. But in the realms of social media I can unfollow negative sloth, never to be bothered by it again. I even have the power to block it forever, if I deem it too invasive to my joy.  That’s brill. If only that sentiment could be applied to incoming text messages…

 A little bleep landed in my new text alerts one midnight… a photo from my oldest daughter a midst the first Bucher Sister Sleepover. I had been excitedly talking with a friend…down the stairs…in the same house…and missed her first couple of messages. (Side note, I think she’s taken note not to ninja-stealth-scare me anymore by creeping down the stairs and sneaking up behind my chair…good for the old ticker…)

I hastened up the stairs to confiscate her phone and tuck her in, scrolling through her sent messages as I slowly creaked her door shut.

I’m no better than my daughter at waiting for a reply when it’s something I need to know straight away.  And when I post a blog and no one comments, my heart does sink a pinch.  But on the flip side, the concern of inconsequential “dings” and missed ring-tones bead up and trickle to the floor.

“Beep. Boop. Bop,” my daughter’s “phone” busted into the afternoon stillness.

“Beep. Boop. Bop.”

The buzzing robot alert stirred my eyes over to the loft desk.  My daughter bypassed the “I just received a message and must answer right now” circuit board, and continued Barbie’s latest saga to save all of humanity by pairing up with Flynn Ryder… “Barbie’s” crush.

“Beep. Bop. Boop.”

My curiosity did not meander down the stairs alongside the cat.

“Brianne, aren’t you going to see who’s sending you messages?” I prodded… “Someone sent a picture…”

“No.” She quipped, aggravated to be interrupted mid- wedding in the dream house.  Far cry from the urgent response she needed on sleepover night.

“What’s that like?” I seethed, as I searched the dusty corridors of my brain for a pre-technologically controlled remnant.  I confess, I wait for the dings after a blog post like my cat waits for food when her bowl is only half full.  The whiplash of feedback on social media flaunts my convictions and exposes my addiction to encouragement.

It’s a ridiculous plight to develop discipline over, I realize. When to put the “ding” down and look up and out at the world happening in my family room…lest I forfeit my witness of  Barbie and Flynn’s vows.  I mean, Barbie may never marry again, and I will plausibly regret forevermore not showing up in any of the wedding photos.  Blast!

That December afternoon, I caught my five year old’s accused eye roll of amateur status… as I texted and checked one-handed whilst my play-doh cupcake turned into a hot mess. My family needed me to pay attention, not just be present. Inspired, I vowed not to let the fourteen days of Christmas break my daughters and I counted down for in angst unfold with me holed up in “busyness” at my desk, while the sounds of joy filtered up the stairs and underneath the crack of my closed door.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Introducing my daughter to texting and face-time is only the beginning …social media is right around the corner. I learn how to process faceless communication right alongside her, and have purposely built up a wall of “Jesus-joy” to guard my heart…and hers, until she’s old enough to take the wheel.  I don’t walk the pier everyday with intentions of getting pooped on by a bird …but it’s possible. (Especially lately… What is it, bird-ageddon over here?!) I’m not focused on the birds, I’m focused on the view. I don’t hear their crazed cackling in my ears, because I have different song streaming through my headphones. I choose my focus.

I don’t know what hard-knock is about to sound at my door.  Ailments are imageeverywhere.  But God doesn’t trip me up with obstacles to make me grumble through my day and life.  He’s the God of humorous silver linings.  The One who allows me to walk through an entire cloud of seagulls without getting pooped on; but then get blasted by the only one around in a ten mile radius.

He’s given us His only Son so that we can choose to unfollow the things that make us miserable.  He did not give us life to make us suffer.  He gave us life for joy!  Fight the good fight and roll with the punches…knowing each blow does have an eternal purpose… and your life has a specific one.

Stay encouraged.  Be happy.  “Follow” the light…Christ.

“Be joyful always.” 1Thes5:16

Happy Sharing,

Megs