The goal of the web is to engage you, to get you to click, scroll, double tap, laugh, cry, and share, to get you to stay up late online and then wake up in the morning and do it all over again. And I would be dishonest if I said I didn’t want the articles on desiringGod.org and the Ask Pastor John podcast episodes to get built into the daily rituals of your life. Of course I do, and I am deeply grateful when they are.
So this is a counterintuitive article about how to step back from social media for a short season for the purpose of recalibrating your life habits and priorities. I want your engagement, but far more importantly, I want you to find digital health and balance in a world without digital brakes.
To that end, for most of us smartphone users, we need seasons of digital detox.
Offline on Purpose
Like most of you, I cannot go offline completely, or escape my laptop or texts or daily emails, but I can digitally detox and pull off a two-week fast from social media. Two weeks seems about right, and if this sounds like an eternity of impossibility to you, as though some part of your inner life would die from malnourishment, then a digital detox is already long overdue.
The stats are alarming. Facebook’s average user is now on their family of platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger) for fifty minutes every day. That number is on the rise, all by the brilliant design of Mark Zuckerberg who wants nothing more than to grab more and more of your attention. And many of us are all too willing to give it to him.