My Attempt to Break-up with Social Media {Guest Post}

My Attempt to Break-up with Social Media {Guest Post}

(Inside: My Attempt to Break-up with Social Media.)

Extravagant Hope is excited to welcome our guest blogger, Becky Hawkinson. Becky is a wife, mother of two and friend, who loves a good laugh, good coffee and Jesus. 



Do you ever feel like you’ve wondered where the time went after you did the “Facebook Scroll”? You know, when you aimlessly look at your phone, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling through social media. Seeing a lot of things, and also, not much of anything? I have. Many times.

Do you ever feel like there is too much noise in your life? Voices that are yelling at you to be like this or like that, definitely not like this and most definitely not like that? I do.

Do you find yourself wishing for it to stop because your soul doesn’t feel right? Because you feel like you don’t know what to believe anymore and you just want to shut it all off and crawl into bed – but you can’t? That was me 4 months ago (and honestly, sometimes even now).

This is an account of my journey. One that is not complete yet. One whose destination has changed and I’m not sure where it is going. (And that’s OK, I think.)

The Voices in my Head

Last December, in front of all 60 of my coworkers (can you imagine!) I gave my testimony of how social media – the good, the bad and the ugly – had its grip on me and that I felt God was calling me to give it up. To shut out the noise. The voices. The soapboxes. The “truths” of others. He called to me, ironically through an Instagram Story. The quote that hit me right between the eyes, “Stop listening to the created, my daughter. Listen to me, the Creator.”

It turns out, I wasn’t listening to God, the Creator, as much as I was listening to people – the created. And often time their words (or the commentators on their post) left me confused, sad, angry, and empty.

Not only that, but I was on my phone or computer so much that it was affecting my family. My kids would often say to me, “Mom… Mom! Are you listening to me?” My husband echoed that question.  And you know what? This would bug me because they were interrupting my oh-so-important scroll, scroll, scroll.  

It was time to shut off the noise.

So, I did. I mean, I tried. December 3rd, 2018, was the last day that I was on social media for me (my profession asks me to create posts on Facebook and Instagram, so I still did that). It lasted one month. 30 days. That was all that I could do… and I felt like a failure. I was supposed to give it up for a long time – certainly longer than 30 days.

My plan was to give up being on social media and instead, when the desire hit to pick up my phone and scroll, scroll, scroll, to turn to my Bible, a more edifying book to read. Or maybe even engage with my family instead of other people’s opinions on truth and God and Christianity and motherhood and pizza and movies and books and podcasts and politics and puppies and women and men and love and happiness, etc., etc., etc.

My family will get my full attention… I will be more present (because as my kids said, many times, “Mom, you’re always on your phone!”)

My husband will say I am a better wife instead of, “Hello, what’s so important on that thing?”

I will be a better Christ follower (because the people were saying “Christians should be and not be _____ … insert any opinion here. (And I am fully aware of the irony here because you, dear reader, are reading this on a social media platform.)

At the end of the journey (whenever that presented itself) I was going to be a holier person. I was going to be spending time in God’s word an hour a day. My kids were going to be saying things like, “Mom, you’re the best mom there is and I love how you spend all your time with us and are never on your phone anymore!” And my husband and I were going to have long conversations about things. What things, I didn’t know – just things! (wait for it – a “but” is coming up.)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2 (NIV)

But…that didn’t happen.  

Oh, things did change, just not to the extent that I wanted it to. It took weeks for my kids to realize that I wasn’t on my phone that much anymore. (Seriously. Apparently, we need to work on their perception skills). My time with God wasn’t an hour long (or 30 minutes or 15 or . . .) and conversations were just normal conversations with my husband (“What should we watch tonight?”).


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Re-entry is Tricky

I entered back into the social media world slowly. A little scroll here and a little scroll there. What I learned from this 30-day break-up was that I was missing out on things. Truly! We live in such a social media world now.  What once was announced in person, or on the phone or even email, is being announced on social media. Here’s some of the things that I missed hearing about: an old co-worker’s dad passing away; the birth of a friend’s baby; the sharing of a friend’s Go Fund Me page for the adoption of their son. And, of course, pictures of gourmet meals, cute kid pictures, advertisements for bras, soap box posts, shared political articles, memes, Scriptures, Christmas pictures (oh! The Christmas family pictures!), New Year’s Eve resolutions and fad diet ads.

I am a Social Media Girl

Photo by Jernej Graj on Unsplash

Some things I definitely missed and some not at all. What I found is that (think Madonna here) I am living in a social media world and I am a social media girl, or something like that. There’s community in real life, but a lot of that community spills into social media.

I found that I couldn’t just shut it down!

At first, I felt like a failure. I’ve seen others announce their social media fast on social media and they appear to do it for whatever time they declared (December, Lent, 90 days). And I only did it for 30 days. But I realized that for me, this is what I could do and that’s OK because I learned from it (or rather, I am learning from it). In order for the experience not to go to waste, and to slip back into old habits, I had to find a way to navigate the platforms without losing myself in its never-ending scroll power.


You Have Permission to Un-Follow Them

My list of “friends” was long and (gasp!) I unfriended some people and others I just un-followed (sorry, not sorry). I left some of the groups I was a member of. All the other organizations and people that I was following were considered and I un-followed a boat-load. The feed got smaller and less noisy and more intentional. The time away from social media helped me break some of my old habits of searching out particular people, who I had not followed officially, but would look at intentionally. And, finally, I moved the social media apps to a folder on my phone labeled “WHY?”. I see that label every time I go to scroll and ask myself, “Why I am going on here now?” (I wish I could say that this makes me stop and deeply question my intent. It usually doesn’t. But sometimes it does stop me!)

May my words and thoughts please you. Lord, you are my Rock—the one who rescues me. Psalm 19:14 (ERV)

A Journey Begins With One Step

I am still on this social media journey. I am working to navigate this online world with my very present, human in the flesh world and my spiritual world. My journey isn’t over yet. Social media will always be there, beckoning me to scroll, scroll, scroll. My prayer today is that instead of falling into the habit (temptation) of zoning out in front of the screen, I will choose to be present with my family; to be present with my Lord; to be in the here and now.

I’m a work in progress. And I am ok with that.


“Stop listening to the created, my daughter. Listen to me, the Creator.” #Hope #ExtravagantHope Click To Tweet

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1 thought on “My Attempt to Break-up with Social Media {Guest Post}”

  • Thank you for this story. I like social media and especially facebook but I felt like you that I was spending to much time on it also, i have been trying to minimize it also. I try to look at it in the morning and the evening. I do not have internet on my phone because I feel like I don’t want that to be a source of not really dealing and hearing the people that I am socializing with at the moment. I live alone so I don’t have a husband or kids to complain about how much I am on it. I did put solitaire on my kindle and I am realizing how easy it is to get addicted to that. I am thinking of taking it off. I will always keep Extravagant Hope though. Love this.

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