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Digital Detox

Is it time to take a digital detox?

I did a recent poll on my IG story (@TheInspiredInfluencer) asking my audience the question, "how is your prayer life?". The average response was a 6 out of 10 in grading in terms of where they would rate that area. My second question was where would they say they struggle the most:

(a) Having a quiet time

(b) Knowing how to pray

(c) Finding motivation

(d) Overcoming distractions

(D) was the overwhelming response, followed in a close second to having a quiet time.

I get it. Our days seem busy with different demands and schedules, even after the shift that has taken place in our "new normal's". For some, it may have picked up as a result. Whether it's laundry, working, paying bills, caring for children or parents, attending zoom calls and being a good spouse and friend, the days seem to be extremely full! Often, when we think we have finally gotten on top of one thing, we are hit with another, and the hamster wheel continues.

Where is a person supposed to make time to pray and be with God?

Be Intentional

My response is how can we afford not to? There is a supernatural grace that comes when we seek first the Kingdom and learn what righteousness is. When we seek God first, it causes us to get the "fuel" and strength we need to tackle everything else. Our priorities get put into proper context and unnecessary stress can be cast away. That sacred time in stillness and communing with God through prayer should not be forfeited by our schedules. Although, there are times in life that are busier than others, if we intentionally practice carving out space in the day to go before the Lord, we can face each task with grace, peace, and joy.

Almost everything in our lives happens through intentionality, not simply by chance or wishful thinking. So, if you are wondering "how to do it all", the truth is you probably can't in your own strength.

The question is, pinpointing what are our distractions and what is sucking up our time.

When I asked in the poll what would people consider the greatest distraction out of: thinking about world events, their schedule, people (family & friend), or social media, you can already guess which one trumped in the polls:

That’s right, SOCIAL MEDIA.

The average person, based on this poll, spends anywhere from 3-6 hours a day scrolling, scrolling, scrolling periodically throughout the course of the day. And, I wouldn’t be checking myself on this if I didn’t say I wasn’t included in those numbers. Which has left me ponder if it is time to take a digital detox.

Digital Detox

A digital detox refers to a period of time when a person refrains from using tech devices such as smartphones, televisions, computers, tablets, and social media sites. “Detoxing” from digital devices is often seen as a way to focus on real-life social interactions without distractions.

Our brains and bodies need these detoxes. Thanks to our ever-present electronics, research shows that the average person’s attention span has dropped over the past decade from 12 seconds to a mere eight—shorter than the attention span of a goldfish. One study from the American Psychological Association found that nearly one-fifth of people say technology is a source of stress. Then there are the potential physical effects of being "always on," from neck pain (and wrinkles) to elevated blood pressure.

But giving up all your screen time? It’s just not practical. Thankfully, experts agree that you don’t have to break up with your phone completely—you just have to relax your death grip on it.

Preparing for your 30 day digital detox

An important question to ask yourself is what is your relationship and thoughts on digital connectivity? What are your genuine feelings about always being connected or attached to your phone?

Before you start your digital detox, consider your why. Confront the lies of being constantly connected and even glamorizing busyness. As a business owner myself, I acknowledge that I stay connected because I use my social media platforms for marketing and customer engagement. However, there are periods as an entrepreneur where I need to disconnect.

If you need to keep business going, consider planning apps such as Planoly, Hootsuite, and Trello. These apps allow you to schedule your social media post and will publish the content for you. I use these often because my sanity, peace of mind, and connection in the real world is very important to me. Whenever I begin to feel overwhelmed or too busy, social media is usually the first thing I will draw back from, and I will draw into intentionally having quiet time or quality time with those who can refill my cup. After all, you cannot pour from an empty vessel.

Another important thing to acknowledge is that the "temptation" will come. You will find yourself spending your quiet time, or going about your day, and the thought that "I need to check on this" or "what if ____ messaged me". The word of God says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." This aggressive approach to taking every thought captive can also apply to honoring our digital detox and starving our flesh's desire to be in control.

Benefits of a digital detox

I have found that whenever I disconnect from social media for a period of time, I am more creative, feel less pulled in different directions, and more productive. My time in prayer also increases.

Here are a few more benefits others have found from it:

  • A chance to develop a more conscious approach to technology.

  • Less comparison.

  • Better mental health - shown to decrease anxiety and depression.

  • Improved brain function.

  • More restful sleep.

  • Better posture.

  • Better hormonal and cellular health.

  • Better work/life balance.

  • More time to spend with God in prayer and Bible reading.

If fasting from social media seems too drastic, here is an alternative mindful detoxes to consider:

  1. Delete, unfollow, unsubscribe, to anything or anyone that does not have an uplifting, encouraging, and inspiring impact to your life.

  2. Write a love letter to your partner or a thoughtful letter to a friend.

  3. Challenge yourself to not pick up and look at your phone in the first and last hour of the day. Instead journal, relax, drink tea or coffee, and listening to something inspirational. (My favorite soaking to spontaneous worship music).

  4. Delete apps you never use, clean out your photo and chat history.

  5. Aim to read one chapter a day of a book you have been putting off reading.

Additional goals:

  1. Challenge yourself to read the Epistles of Paul (Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Philemon, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus).

  2. Practice stillness and sitting in silence - see how long you can do it.

  3. Instead of the impulse to post, use it as a prompt to journal and write.

  4. Schedule a face-to-face lunch date with 2-3 people you haven’t spoken to or seen in a long time.

If this was helpful, let me know! If you're considering or up for the challenge to do a digital detox, tell me when you're planning to start and for how long in the comments below!

Until next time,

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