On Sunday I made the decision to take a break from Twitter. I had been considering doing this for a while (I generally do it at least once a year). The truth is, social media has been doing my nut in for a while now, so on Sunday I informed the Twitter world that I’m taking a break. I’m sure many tears were shed (not!) Anyway, I could use this post as an opportunity to bang on about the evils of social media, but I’m just not in the mood to be negative. Rather I’m going to use this post to highlight 3 very positive lessons that I have learned in the last 48 hours.
1. Quality Time With God
Despite being in the middle of a very tough season, I am feeling super close to God right now! There are multiple reasons for this that are totally unrelated to Twitter. However, in the last 2 days I have found myself with my Bible or a good book in my hand more often than I had pathetically become accustomed to. I realise that when I have my iPhone in my hand I’m far more likely to be hitting refresh, reading tweets and generally filling my mind with trivial nonsense in 140 characters or less! (I know that not everything on Twitter is trivial nonsense…but next to Scripture – it is!) God has really spoken to me through His Word these last few days and my mind, by God’s grace, is currently filled with truth and gospel promises. It makes a huge difference to how I’m processing difficult days.
Similarly, I’m also praying a lot more. Again, I think this is related to not being on Twitter all the time. Firstly, my mind is free from the curse of ‘Tweet Compilation’. This is essentially the problem of drafting tweets in my head throughout the day, sometimes saving them as drafts, before tweaking, completing and tweeting them. It’s a ridiculously, pointlessly long process. I know it sounds sad. But that’s what I do. As I’m presently not tweeting, my mind is free for all sorts of other activities – not least prayer. Secondly, My mind is free from getting dragged into other people’s musings and controversies. It’s SO easy to read stuff on Twitter and to be confused, critical and enraged by it. This might lead to getting involved in pointless debates. At the very least it means that I’m processing and mediating on stuff that is just not helpful or purposeful. Again, factoring this out of the equation has only served to enhance my prayer life. I’m talking to the God of the universe more than I’m tweeting to a handful of mere mortals!
2. Quality Time With Family
Don’t get me wrong, I kinda knew that my phone was playing a bigger role in my life than it should have. I just didn’t realise how much. Since Sunday, I have enjoyed SO much more quality time with Michelle and my kids. But here’s the mad thing, I haven’t had more time with them at all. I’ve been with them just as much as I usually am, only these last few days I haven’t had the problem of having a screen coming between us. It’s been quality time. These last few day I have spent several beautiful uninterrupted hours teaching Ezra to catch, building blocks with Anastasia, playing Fireman Sam with Josiah and drawing pictures with Elen. I have also had the joyous privilege of curling up on the sofa with my wife, chatting, praying and enjoying grace together without the constant chime of tweets being pushed to my phone, without a head full of other people’s stuff and without feeling the need to be hitting refresh.
It was bliss!
3. CONSIDERABLY Improved iPhone Battery Life
This one is nothing like as significant a point as the previous 2 (you probably gathered that from reading the title!) Basically, despite having a phone that is less than a year old, I have generally needed to plug it in to recharge the battery by tea time. Yesterday, I went to bed at gone midnight and still had 50% battery left. All I can think is that I must have been tweeting and refreshing Twitter WAY too much!
So where is all this going to lead? Should I jack in Twitter all together? Being the king of over-reactions, this is certainly the way that I am leaning. However, I’m very aware of my character and therefore holding fire. For now. Certainly, Twitter has been a source of a great deal of blessing and encouragement to me over the years and I have made some genuine friends through it. Also, God does seem to have used me to bless and encourage others through Twitter, for which I’m very grateful. Furthermore, last time I toyed with the idea of jacking in Twitter, a good friend encouraged me to redeem it and not reject it. It was a good point.
So I guess it’s a case of watch this space! In the meantime, I’m going to draw this post to a close so that I can spend some quality time with my God and my family!