You Can Make Time!

Reflections on a Social Media Fast 3

Make Time

Today, we are talking about time.  Stephen Miller Band wrote,

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future

I’ve found no more appropriate way to think about how I have utilized social media in the past.

I like schedules and I calendar almost everything.  I know what’s happening and when.  The old adage, if you aren’t 5 minutes early than you’re late, is something I’ve taken to heart and amplified a bit (much to my wife’s chagrin): if you aren’t 30 minutes early than you’re late.  I’m very organized when it comes to my time.  I’ve written on it here, here, here, and here.  I don’t like my time wasted.

However, I continually let social media waste my time.  One of the biggest discoveries I had after I started the social media fast was how much time I had spent looking at social media.  I found my thumb going to the place on my phone where the Facebook App had been countless times a day.  It was subconscious.  If my thumb is drifting to this nebulous spot on my phone then how much time would I have spent mindlessly scrolling?

Make Time

We all have exactly the same amount of time in a given day.

  • 24 Hours
  • 1,440 Minutes
  • 86,400 Seconds

If you find yourself lacking in time, here’s an idea: Take a Social Media Break.  I promise it will be productive and that  it will be good for you.  I promise you will have more time.

Remember social media isn’t bad.  As I shared in my first post, social media is a tool.  It SHOULD be utilized, but tools yield to their master’s desires.  Use social media, don’t be used by it.  This idea will be the subject of my next post about my social media fast.

Reflections on a Social Media Fast 2

Part 2 - People Freaked Out

social media

On September 24th I posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (which I don’t use much, I know I’m terrible), and LinkedIn that:

Allison Crandall and I are signing off of Facebook/Messenger/Social Media for a while. If you need me you an email me at jason@cityviewpearland.com

Allie gave me the business because, “who cares if you’re off social media.”  She likes to give me the business (I like it too).

I remember telling her, “I know, people won’t care, but sometimes people ask me questions, etc and it’s kind of like an out of the office email letting people know I’m off and how to contact me if they need something.”  I’m a pastor and I utilize social media a lot.

Freak Out

We were both wrong, people cared, they really cared.  People freaked out.  I don’t have a large following on social media, a few hundred followers on Twitter and a couple thousand friends on Facebook.  I don’t know how to check Instagram followers (I know I’m terrible).

Within minutes of my signing off social media, I got 27 text messages, 5 phone calls, and a few emails.  The questions and comments continued for the next week.  They were:

  • Why?
  • Is something wrong?  Are you guys okay?
  • I want to see the boys.  Have someone else post pictures.
  • What about Penny?
  • How are we going to hear about Penny?
  • What’s Penny doing?

(Penny is our dog.  She’s a corgi.  She’s a puppy and… terrible, but we love her. She has her own Instagram, which I’d post here, but you know… I’m terrible and don’t know what it is exactly).

My favorite question was from a very serious, but paranoid friend: “are you afraid the government and Illuminati are watching you?”  I sent a text jokingly back, “aren’t they the same thing?”

The Social Media Social Contract

I’m nobody special.  I didn’t understand why there was such a reaction to my signing off of social media.  As I reflected though, I think it has something to do with the way that we connect and feel connected.  I think, due to social media, we are okay with feeling more physically/spatially/relationally disconnected from others.  After all we don’t need to actually keep up with people because we can always pop on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram and see what’s happening in their world.

That’s not an indictment.  I enjoyed getting back on Facebook and seeing my cousin’s kids, my brother’s dog, my friend’s accomplishments, etc.  Social Media has made it possible to keep up without keeping up. It’s like there is kind of a new social media social contract that says this is okay.  People liked keeping up with me from afar.  I didn’t know how much the posts of our boys, our thoughts, funny quips, Bible verses, and Corgi pics meant to others.  It was only after signing off of social media though that I knew we mattered like that to others.

It got me thinking that maybe I should contact personally (via text, phone call, invite over, get coffee with, etc) those people who I enjoy seeing on social media.  I should spend time checking in with them outside the Twittersphere and Facebook universe.

My reflection today is don’t let the social media social contract be the only social contract you have with people.

Reflections on a Social Media Fast 1

Part 1 - Tools not Crutches

At the end of September my wife and I took a break from social media.  We had a lot of reasons (which I’ll talk about a little over the next few posts), but more than anything we just needed a detox.  I was beginning more and more to find this post from Urban Dictionary far too true in my own life.

Social Media can be best described as:

Facebook – I like doughnuts

Twitter – I’m eating #doughnuts

Instagram – Here is a Polaroid-esce photo of doughnuts

Foursquare – This is where I eat doughnuts

YouTube – Here I am eating doughnuts

Myspace – Meet the Up-and-coming band, ‘doughnuts’

Linkedin – My skills include doughnut eating

Pinterest – Here is a recipe for doughnuts

We plugged back in a couple days ago and I thought I’d share a little bit about what I noticed as I took an intentional break from the cultural phenomena known as Social Media.

First Thought: Social Media is a Tool not a Crutch

I don’t think social media is bad or evil or even a giant waste of time (on its own).  I think it’s a tool to be used.  Any tool that’s overused or improperly utilized can cause problems. Those tools can even destroy.  During my break I noticed how I had stopped using social media as a tool and started using it as a crutch for social interaction.  Crutches are great tools when a lower extremity is broken or hurt, but when nothing is broken and you’re using one… then there is a problem.  I am blessed to have a lot of opportunity for social interaction.  I don’t need social media to be the only place where it’s happening or even one of the main places where it’s happening.