Jesus said to His disciples, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).
What great words for “Screen-Free Week,” wouldn’t you say?
A few months back, I decided to take a self-imposed Facebook Fast. Alarms had started to sound in my head and heart as I examined my downtime patterns.
First, I’d check my text messages.
Second, I’d open my emails.
Third, I’d click on my Facebook feed.
And dislike (though I didn’t usually have the guts to comment).
Then I’d scroll some more.
Before I knew it, I had wasted lots of precious time that I could have been investing in something much more profitable. But the most alarming revelation I had was sensing how social media was making me feel, not only about others, but also about myself.
Why are they posting that rant on here about their job?
It’s Facebook, not VentBook!
Who really cares how many miles you ran today and how clean your house is?
It’s Facebook, not BragBook!
How is this political diatribe doing any good to help us find common ground?
It’s Facebook, not BashBook!
Why are all these good things happening to them and not to me?
It’s Facebook, not CovetBook.
Can you relate? Have you been there before?
I would venture to say that many of you have. Perhaps you’re there right now.
If so, I’d encourage you to take a break during this “Screen Free Week.” Use the time you free up to come away with Jesus and rest in His presence.
In my personal experience with my Facebook Fast, I tried to do just that. And even though I will admit to peeking at my social media accounts a few times during the fast, I discovered how refreshing it was to spend less time glued to my devices.
It was good for my heart, my mind, my soul and, yes, even for my thumbs, which I’m sure appreciated the siesta from tapping my iPhone screen!
Based upon some of the things I learned during my Facebook Fast, here are a few ideas I have for how you can enjoy “Screen-Free Week."
Place your Bible or devotional book in the place where you typically spend a lot of time on social media. Leave the phone or tablet in the other room, and instead take five minutes in each sitting to listen to the voice of the Spirit speaking to you through His Word
Psalm 78:1 “Give ear, O My people, to My teaching; incline your ears to the words of My mouth!
Think of several co-workers, friends, or family members that you text on a regular basis. Instead of texting, buy a pack of thank-you cards at the store and send a handwritten note to let them know you appreciate them. There’s something special about sending and receiving “snail mail” these days, wouldn’t you say?
1 Corinthians 1:4
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.
We all love to look at the photos and videos other people put on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Instead of looking at other people’s experiences, go out and experience God’s handiwork for yourself. Rise early to soak in the sunrise. Snap an up-close shot of the beautiful trees and flowers that God is growing right in your own front yard. Once you take some photos, don’t post them! Print them. Frame them. Display them in your home. Use them as reminders of the Creator’s magnificent work that is all around you.
There is none like You among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like Yours.
Leave the television off some evening. No sporting events. No cable news. No DVR or Netflix bingeing. Savor the silence and spend time in face-to-face, personal conversations with your family. Play a board game. Have a long, drawn-out dinner. Take a stroll through your neighborhood. And in case it’s just “killing you” not to know who won the game or what the presidential candidate said that evening, buy a newspaper the next morning and stay up-to-date the old-fashioned way!
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.
Try some of these ideas and enjoy your “Screen-Free Week.” I’d love to hear about your experiences and other ideas you have.
If you decide to take a Facebook Fast like I did, you won’t regret it.
In fact, I think it’s time I take another one.