Why I Quit Facebook // How to be Intentional on Social Media

Detoxing the mind is as important as building your muscles and detoxing your body.

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Transcript

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It can be a great place to connect, ask questions, and network, but it can also be a place of shaming, comparison, and bullying. Our minds are so important to protect. God says to fix our eyes on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy.

I’ve found in the past few months, with all the chaos and unknowns in the world right now, I have found more negative than ever before. My feed has become a distraction from what I want to focus on, and it hasn’t really been beneficial for my mind. It actually became a source of stress, anxiety, and, ultimately, anger. I could feel anger boiling up inside that started to unleash. 

That’s why in July I decided to distance myself from the Facebook scroll all together. So I guess I didn’t quit Facebook completely, but I did quit scrolling my feed, seeing the news, and going down rabbit holes. I realized I needed to reinvest time into growing my mindset and into more uplifting things. 

Do you find yourself scrolling mindlessly or engaging in online arguments that aren’t beneficial? Maybe it’s time to detox your mind when it comes to social media. Detoxing the mind is as important as building your muscles and detoxing your body. I’m ready to disengage and focus on what is lovely, how about you?

In this short chat, I’m going to share some negatives to social media and why we need to be careful with what we engage in, but I’m also going to share three ways to use social media effectively. It’s not going away anytime soon, and, for many of us, the benefits of using it far outweigh the cons of not. But, how do we ensure that we don’t let our minds go down rabbit trails or let our emotions get the best of us as we scroll? That’s what we’ll talk about today.

First, though, let’s chat about the negatives of social media and the things we need to be conscientious of as we play around online.

ONE: Social media can consume our time. 

Have you ever just been scrolling your feed, looking at pictures, catching up on other’s lives, reading articles, only to realize it’s already been two hours??? 

The 2020 data is rather shocking, or maybe it’s not … According to recent studies found on broadbandsearch.net, the average time people spend on social networking is 144 minutes per day, which equates to 2 hours and 24 minutes! This is just on social networks, not screen time. 

Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and so on. YouTube and Facebook are the largest culprits of this time-sucking. If you only spend 144 minutes of your day on social media, did you know that averages to 6 years and 8 months of your life?

RELATED: https://www.broadbandsearch.net/blog/average-daily-time-on-social-media

When we put all of this into perspective, that’s an awful lot of time to be spending attached to our social networks. It actually takes us away from our daily lives.

TWO: Social media can lead us down a negative spiral.

Protecting our minds is an essential part of our growth process, and when much of what we see is negative, it’s hard to protect. Anyone can post anything online. Every time we pick up our phones and scroll, we are inundated with negative news stories and arguments, not to mention social bullying.

I’ve been shamed for my beliefs and bullied for speaking up. We worry so much about our kids’ mental health when it comes to cyberbullying, but we don’t realize that online social outlets are infested with adult cyberbullying. Why do I say this? Because we are more likely to say something nasty online than we ever would face to face. There is a sense of detachment online, so our confidence heightens, and we become bold to the point of being downright mean. If we feel worse after being on social media than we did before, then we have a problem.

I look at it as: Would I be willing to say what I want to say online to someone face to face? If not, I leave it alone and move on. It is not worth arguing and stirring up tension. The enemy’s playground is division and confusion, and, I’m telling you, the past few months, that’s all there’s been, and so many people are playing into it! Honestly, I started to too!

I have my own opinions and thoughts about what has been going on in the world in 2020, but I still need to be aware of when I should or shouldn’t speak up. I had enough of it, and I voiced my opinion and began arguing with some in comments on Facebook, and we went back and forth in anger. But here’s the thing … We never settled anything. I never changed anyone’s mind, and though I’m willing to hear someone else out, them shaming me or attacking my values didn’t change my mind either. All it did was leave us all bitter. 

That’s around the same time that I chose to step away from the Facebook feed for a time, knowing I was getting too heated seeing all the tension, division, and confusion. As I was in my quiet time I was hearing God say, “That’s not where I am. I am a God of unity, clarity, and love. You’re getting too close to the tension. Step away.”

So you know what I did? I listened. I stepped away, and I’m glad I did. My mind is being renewed, and all that negative is slowly sifting away and being replaced with the positive once again. No matter what is going on in the world, the one thing I know is that God is in control. If I truly believe that and trust Him, then I have nothing to fear. I may not understand everything, and I may never know all the truths, but I can rely on Him to take control. His plans are not our plans, and his thoughts are not our thoughts. They are so much higher and so much better. 

THREE: Social Media Can Be Distracting to Our Goals or Presence in the Day.

Think about the habits you try to create for yourself throughout the day that will help you personally grow or draw you closer to your goals. You may have a long list of things you want to get done that day, but in the evening you realize you hardly touched the list. Why? Distraction.

So many things are vying for our attention every second of the day, and social media is one of those culprits. I’ll go on to just check something quick, and an hour later I realize I didn’t even do what I had gone on there to do! When we let distractions come in the way of our goals, it can be rather frustrating and be breeding grounds to quitting on ourselves.

Not only can social media be a distraction to our goals, but it can also be a distraction to our day. I know for me, I want to live in the present. I don’t want to live virtually. I want to be here when my kids need me. I want to adventure in the world. I want to know that what I’m doing matters. I don’t want to put my head on the pillow at night wondering if I could have been a better version of myself that day. 

I want to be present over perfect. I want to be present more than I want to be accepted. I want to be present more than I want to be liked. The things that matter most to me are God and my family, and they need to come first before my online interaction. How about you? What matters most to you? 

Sometimes just knowing what that is will automatically help you eliminate the online distraction and use it more intentionally. I’m not always good at being present, but it’s something I’m working toward more and more every day. Life is precious, and we aren’t guaranteed another day, so I want to live it well.

So, I started with the negatives of social media, but honestly, there are so many benefits to it, and we can use it to propel ourselves forward in our pursuits and use it for the good. Here are some ways to use social media effectively:

ONE: Set a Timer

My boys have a timer for the amount of screen time we allow each day, and it works for them. If it works for them, maybe it would work for us too. A timer can keep us accountable to the time we allot ourselves and help us see how we are using that time.

When that timer goes off, get off social media  no matter what. There is a way in your phone settings that you can set a timeline for social media or any of the apps on your phone. You can set it to a certain amount of time each day, and it will notify you when you’ve used it up. If you need another minute or want to override it, you can, but at least you know that you’ve used the time you planned.

It’s about taking a closer look and analyzing where you’re spending most of your time and where your time online is going. At least on the iphone, you can go into your settings and see just what apps you are using and how much time you are spending on each. 

I highly recommend looking at these settings every once in a while so you can check yourself and see if anything needs to change with where your time is being spent. It is rather eye-opening!

TWO: Be Intentional 

Intentionality is everything. Online isn’t bad. There are so many good things we can do on there. We can connect with family or friends in different states, we can network for business, we can share positive messages, and we can just unplug from the everyday grind for a bit.

However, when we begin to immerse ourselves into social media and mindlessly scroll our feeds, and spend so much time there without a purpose, that’s when it can become detrimental in our lives. Know why you’re going on and how you will connect while using it. 

One thing I did on Facebook was that I bookmarked the main groups I either lead or that I’m interested in engaging in the most. That way, I can just click on that group and head there and avoid the news feed altogether. I chose only the positive ones that I use to intentionally personally grow or to network. Avoiding the news feed clears the clutter and keeps us intentional with why we went on in the first place.

How many times have I gone on there to actually send a specific message or post or do something productive, and then I got caught in the scroll and forgot to do what I went on there to do! Am I the only one who does that? I don’t think so.

THREE: Avoid the Drama

Social media can be super dramatic and negative. Go on there, do what you need to do, focus on the positive, and then get off. Avoid the negative because who really benefits from me responding to a negative post? No one. Nobody benefits. Ask yourself, does this get me closer to what I want, or does this benefit me in any way if I respond because it’s probably going to be a no, so why engage in it?

Have you ever changed someone’s mind online? Most likely, no. It’s not the place to try to change people’s minds. Arguing online is about as effective as a screen door on a submarine. So why do it? it can suck you in and no one benefits in the end. This goes back to being intentional. Ask yourself who will benefit if you respond to the drama. Does it get you closer to what you want? 

And, guess what? It’s ok to hide people from your feed. If all they post is negative, then hide them. I don’t like unfriending people because I want them to see my positive messages, and I  hope that what I’m posting inspires others. But I also know my mind is too important to mess with the negative. 

Social media (Facebook in particular) has become a place for cyberbullying for adults! Too often, we don’t think before we post. Much of what is said to people online would not be said to people face to face because there is a sense of separation, and it’s less personal, so we are more comfortable to say whatever comes out of our mouths. 

Unfortunately, or fortunately, holding our tongue is one of the best things we can do. The Word says we need to control these tongues of ours. There are so many verses that talk about being careful what we say.

Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your conversations always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer anyone.”

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Proverbs 15:4 says, “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”

Matthew 15:11 says, “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

Proverbs 26:20 says, “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down.”

I could go on and on because the Word has verse after verse about the power of the tongue. I’m not saying don’t ever say anything that will stir others up. What I’m saying is that we shouldn’t be posting on social media just to get a reaction or just to stir up anger. Be careful with your words and how you present yourself online. 

Social media is not all bad, and you can form good and lasting friendships if you’re intentional in how you use it. I never really thought that was possible, but some of my best friends have come from networking on Facebook.

I’ve met accountability partners, mastermind friends, coaches, new Colorado friends, and business relationships through the online scene. When we are intentional on social media, we really can make great connections and friendships we never would have had with people we never would have met in person.

FINAL STRETCH

So, as you can see, social media is not all bad, but it’s in how we utilize it that makes it one way or the other. Choose not to get caught up in the drama. Be prayerful about when you should speak up or when you should keep your mouth shut. Understand that bullying does happen online, and choose not to be a part of it. Be an example in light and love and choose to remain positive online in your writing and commenting. Be intentional with your time while online, and choose to step away when your allotted time is up. 

It’s been a full month since I took a step back, and I haven’t missed my Facebook feed. I’ve actually enjoyed being freed from the scroll. I’m still very active in my group and on my Facebook page, which is linked to my Instagram. If you want to connect more, Instagram is the best place to find me. I find I don’t really like scrolling much, and when I do, I get to choose what I follow and don’t, so my feed is much more positive than on Facebook. You can follow me @redhotmindset, so come say hi over there! 

That’s it for today, but I hope you will rethink your social media use if, lately, you’ve found yourself in a negative space because of it. Go outside, take a walk, enjoy nature, get some fresh air, be present with your day. Don’t let your days get away from you by being attached to your phone. Be present. Be intentional. You’ll be glad you were.

Dream huge, and, remember, you are a winner. Just run YOUR race! I believe in you.

 

Step into the fire and come out stronger!

If you want to stay at the forefront with me, sign up for my newsletter where I bring mindset, goal-setting strategies, and encouragement directly to your inbox, and you will be in the know for future podcast episodes!

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