One of the benefits of a great relationship with your adult sons and daughters is the helpful insight they provide from their perspective based on the principles you’ve instilled in them.
I recently posted some suggestions for keeping the noise of email, texts, and social media at bay. One of my sons shared his recent practice in line with that. It involves a social media fast.
This isn’t an original idea. My other sons and daughters as well as their friends have all done various forms of media fasts. This particular application, however, grabbed my attention in a special way. It complimented my strong convictions in starting and ending each day intentionally and peacefully.
A Twice-Daily 2-Hour Fast
It’s simply this: no social media for the first and last two hours of each day.
My alarm clock is my iPhone. So, each day begins by reaching for my phone to turn off the alarm. The downside is as soon as I turn off the alarm, I see all the notifications of incoming messages.
It’s like the curse of Medusa. I’ve learned that if I dare look at them, I will more than likely take a supposed quick look. Then ten minutes later, I become aware that I’m already off track of my predetermined routine.
The allure of “just a quick look” at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever is a trap. It sucks you in fast and the hold on you is relentless.
The answer is simple, although perhaps not easy at first: don’t. Just don’t.
- Protect your morning start. When you go to bed tonight, promise yourself you’re not looking at any social media, news, etc. until after your energizing morning routine. Give yourself a few moments after your morning routine and before the work of your day begins to scan your social media of choice, then move on.
Protect your evening wind down. Same thing for tonight. Set an alarm for two hours before bedtime. After that, give yourself the gift of social media silence. Spend time with your spouse. Read. Take a hot bath. Journal. Anything that helps you wind down for a good night’s sleep.
For more peace and focus, fast social media for the first and last two hours of each day.
Let your family, friends, close associates know, if necessary, that you’ll be off the grid during these times. And encourage them to do the same.
You may not affect the culture at large, but you don’t have to participate. It’s not a right or wrong. It’s a choice toward something better—more margin, peace, and focus for the things that truly matter most.
Question: How have you kept the pull and distraction of social media in check? Share your answer in the comments below.