This past summer I spent 9 weeks on Catalina Island working at a camp called Campus by the Sea. It was a great experience for me because I got to serve campers without any distractions and engage in a unique community. One of the rules that the staff abides by is being disconnected from social media. I have done this before during other mission trips and it was fairly easy. It was harder this time around because I was in a new place for an extended amount of time and I had to use a payphone to call home. At the end of the day all I wanted to do was call my mom and tell her what happened that day. Being off our phones actually forced our staff to find other ways to actually engage with one another (who would have thunk it?!) It was great. A couple of us would anxiously await the daily newspaper just to see what was going on across the sea. For those of you that know me know that my iPhone is an extension of my hand. You can always get a hold of me at any time of the day. It’s horrible! But I never wanted to do anything about it.
In January I decided to take a couple days off from social media. For two days I removed Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat from my phone. I GOT SO MUCH DONE! I did not procrastinate on my homework, and I felt at peace even with my busy schedule. I didn’t feel the anxiety of not looking at my phone during a meal wondering what I was missing out on. It was like I was back on the island. I knew that I needed to make this a regular thing.
I was with my friend Luke during one of those days and I was telling him how rewarding this small fast was. We both decided during the month of February that we were going to make this a regular thing. We settled on doing two days on, one day off and so on. So every three days we are “off”. It has been so rewarding. The night before each “off day” one of us will text each other saying “no social media tomorrow”. During those days it is great. We don’t have any distractions and we don’t feel the need to look at our phones every second. Some days are hard because we miss seeing what everyone is up to, but those days are the most peaceful. Not only is it effecting us during our off days but its effecting us on our “on” days too. I have noticed a slow decrease in the amount of times I check my phone. The number of tweets I post is slowly decreasing, and I no longer see every Instagram post in my feed. It causes me to not be up to date with all the gossip and gives me time to actually get stuff done!
I want to encourage all my readers to join me on this journey. Maybe you are reading this and thinking how stinkin’ hard it will be for you. I promise you, it’s not as bad as you think. Start with just one day a week and then gradually add more off days. You will start to see the differences in your day with a small change. Now that I have started this pattern I am starting to look forward to my “off days” because I know it will be a good day with no distractions.
YOU CAN DO IT!