Why I Deleted Social Media & Why I Got It Back
May 4, 2020
Have you ever mindlessly scrolled on Instagram for way too long? Have you found yourself constantly comparing other people’s lives who have more followers and a prettier Instagram feed and a seemingly perfect life?
Well I have. And I didn’t like it one bit.
I realized that going through life that way wasn’t the way I wanted to go. It wasn’t healthy, it wasn’t fun, and it definitely was not serving God, it was serving myself.
Many of us are familiar with the verse, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14). We often hear this verse as motivation and a “pick me up” but do we really believe it? Do we actually know this full well?
I found myself doubting this exact statement every day as I obsessed over each detail and idolized other users and the platform of Instagram itself. Not only had I doubted that I am fearfully and wonderfully made but I also doubted my Maker. I doubted that His works are wonderful and I doubted that the life He has given me is “good enough.”
When I began to realize this trend and I could tell that my feelings towards social media were increasingly negative and self deprecating, I decided to remove myself from it all together. I permanently deleted my account, deleted the app, and waited to see what would happen…how I would feel. I wanted to remove the temptation and source of stress and turn to God to work through the sin I was dealing with.
Honestly, at first I didn’t feel much of difference. I would go to reach for it at times but when I realized it wasn’t there, I found something much more beneficial to do such as reading, spending time with loved ones, going outside, or simply enjoying nothing for awhile.
After a while had passed, I noticed that I was far less anxious and stressed day-to-day and I was no longer glued to my phone 24/7. It felt amazing! I didn’t feel the need to document everything for the world to see, I left my phone places because I was so wrapped up in the present moment (sometimes a little too often..whoops), and I felt a huge sense of freedom and relief without it. I was in a very tough season of my life and God lifted a huge burden from my shoulders and replaced it with a sense of peace.
I am most grateful that God revealed the sin I had fallen into and the beautiful world around me I was missing out on. Who knows what experiences I would have been absent from or the numerous doubts I would have felt if I hadn’t noticed when I did.
Now, at this point you might be thinking, “so why in the world did you get it back???” Let me explain.
To be honest, I had never intended on getting it back. I had pictured myself with children one day, ignoring them because I was too busy on my phone and it scared me beyond words. I never wanted to be glued to my phone ever again.
But about 6 months to a year later, I felt hopeless with the growth of my business (Balanced Bopp Living). I didn’t miss scrolling through my feed, I didn’t miss editing pictures or writing captions, and I definitely didn’t miss the pressure and stress I once felt. What I did miss was the ability to share a message with an incredible amount of people. This message is not to make a recipe or to try a workout..no, the message I have is far more important than that. It’s a message that many people, especially young women need to hear. It’s the message that food, aesthetics, and exercise should not be obsessed over or idolized and yet so often—so so often—they are. It’s a message that’s dear to my heart and a message that I truly feel responsible for sharing.
I had given the old fashioned way a try… business cards, emails, and I even signed up for the Farmer’s Market (but COVID stopped that pretty quickly). Although I did reach a few new people and I loved the intimacy of it, I could see that it wasn’t going to go much farther and it definitely wasn’t going to go much faster. Our world has transitioned to almost solely online platforms.
Once I realized this, I prayed like nobody’s business. Every single day, I prayed for God to show me the answer, to protect me from my own sinful ways, and to use me to glorify Him in any way that I can. Along with prayers, I talked to people in my life who know me well. I voiced my fears and discussed my options. After extended time of contemplation I decided I would get it back but with some conditions. I knew that returning to it without any precautions would land me right back where I started so I listed out 7 boundaries for myself (with the ability to add more later on of course) as well as told them to Ben so he could help keep me accountable. Along with boundaries and accountability, I prayed for the courage to speak openly about my faith and the gospel so that I may use social media in the best way possible—to share about the almighty, one and only God, to shine His light, and to glorify Him in everything I do.
This may have all seemed like a “big deal” over such a “small thing” as social media. But, any time something in our lives is prioritized over God or idolized and made into a false god, it is never to be taken lightly. In Exodus 20:3-4 God says, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in the heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” This is a direct command from the Lord. Not only that, it was the very first commandment given by Moses to the Israelites on Mount Sinai. To idolize world things or to act ignorant towards this command is to directly disobey and dishonor God.
Now that I’m back on social media, I will continually pray for strength, obedience, and self-control. I must completely rely on the Holy Spirit to work through me so that I may never return to those ways of idolatry again. Just as Paul writes in Galatians 4:8, “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?” To turn back to social media as a false god would be foolish and would be in direct disobedience to God.
Do I want to be enslaved to it all over again?
And neither should you.
My Social Media Boundaries
have set times (plan ahead)
have someone who can help keep you accountable
unfollow or block people if they give you negative or sinful thoughts/feelings
don’t forego beliefs/morals/values
don’t feel the need to post everything
take one day completely off per week (mine is Sunday)
[I will be posting a YouTube video soon explaining each of these boundaries]