Sometimes it’s necessary to disconnect from the world in order to reconnect with God. Sometimes it’s necessary to reorder your priorities to notice what is happening to your soul.
For six months I chose to do a digital fast. I turned off Facebook and started looking at the people present in my life rather than the happenings on my cell phone.
Life felt overwhelming. I was beginning a new job, in a new country so I chose to hide from it by escaping into the digital world. My symptoms:
- I spent much of my time living online, instead of engaging with people in my new location.
- I didn’t feel emotionally present and most of my conversations were virtual.
- I poured over pictures on Facebook for hours thinking, “Look at what I’m missing out on.”
- I felt social media trapping me in my past and in other people’s present.
Then one day I asked myself, “What would it look like to live fully present with those around me?”
It was time for something radical.
I decided to deactivate my Facebook account. Only when I removed social media from my daily life did I realize it had become a coping mechanism for me.
What I Learned
- God made me for relationships. I learned that I had a deep need to bond and form connections with other people in flesh and blood. Not only did I want real relationships, I wanted them to go deeper. I wanted more meaningful conversations with the people in my life.
- My Facebook fast uncovered my longing for God. My friend Sheri has a tattered Post-it note on her fridge with this C.S. Lewis quote, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
- Digital fasting added hours to my life. I noticed I had more time on my hands. Instead of reaching for my phone to see what people were up to, I had to ask more questions or schedule a time to catch up in person. The power of digital fasting was proven to me in a moment with a friend that made me laugh. She couldn’t understand why I didn’t know about something that was going on in her life at that time. She asked me, “Didn’t you see my pictures on Facebook?”
Nope, I sure didn’t. “Why don’t you tell me all about it while I drink this coffee and enjoy the smile on your face.”
New to the idea of fasting? Explore the Fasting Starter Kit.
About the Author: For Meghan Posey, missions is where all her passions come together: her love of language, culture, Jesus and adventure. Meghan works with the Jesus Film ministry at Cru headquarters in Orlando. Before that she served with Cru Latin America in Costa Rica.