A while back, I decided I needed to take a break from life online. Specifically, that meant Instagram and my blog.
I was truly reaching the point of exhaustion trying to always be relevant, available and excited to post every single day. All of those things are doable and fun, but when you push yourself to be surrounded by them non-stop, it’s going to ruin you quickly. And I think it almost did for me.
For a long time, I couldn’t figure out why I honestly felt like I was going to have a panic attack every time I logged onto WordPress and pass out if I had to take another photo for Instagram. It was driving me nuts, and I couldn’t push through it.
So, as people do when they get overwhelmed, I swore off of the whole blogging world for good.
And now here I am; running back to the one thing that somehow also keeps me sane. Weird. If you couldn’t already tell, I’ve clearly rethought my decision after experiencing life away from this online world (hello again, blog!). Now I’m going to tell you what God told me, why it’s important, and what you can do to make sure this doesn’t also happen to you.
Why I Decided to Take a Break
As you already saw, the stress was annoyingly prominent; all the time. I would log onto social media or my blog, and worry about numbers (*groans internally & rolls eyes*). It went a little like:
Who’s reading this? How many people liked my picture? How can I get more followers on here? Who voted for my poll on Instagram?
And beyond those thoughts, I also had things like this going through my mind:
What kind of content can I make that this specific person will like? How can I fix my writing to sound like hers? How can I make my pictures look like that person’s? What else can I be doing to reach people? What other services should I offer? How can I be perfect on here?
When you’re trying to address all of those thoughts at once, on a wheel that never stops, it’s no wonder why burn-out is a thing. I felt like I was not only a blogger but also trying to fix all of the world’s problems in a day. Jesus didn’t even rebuild his temple in a day. So, what the heck?!I felt like I was not only a blogger but also trying to fix all of the world's problems in a day. Jesus didn't even rebuild his temple in a day. So, what the heck?! Click To Tweet
Hard as I tried, I couldn’t shake it at all. I didn’t know how to, because I didn’t know where the thoughts were coming from or how to control them. (Spoiler alert: They come from the devil, and prayer is the answer to getting anything bad the heck out of your head.)
When you’re living to be another person’s version of perfection instead of God’s, you’re going to end up hating what you become. More than that, I felt like I’d outgrown this little corner of the internet and needed to flee, quickly.When you're living to be another person's version of perfection instead of God's, you're going to end up hating what you become. Click To Tweet
The Words God Spoke to Me
If you’ve ever been in a stressful situation, you know how hard it is to think about things correctly until you’ve successfully removed yourself from it. Distance is so key.
There were tons of mornings driving to work, thinking to myself: Did I just lose a huge part of myself? Why is God removing me from something I felt so called to do?
It’s so easy to blame God when you don’t know why you’re going through something. Actually, it’s so easy to blame anyone but yourself. Never mind that He might be trying to teach you a lesson, because all you care about is the fact this once-great-thing became such a nightmare in front of your eyes.It's so easy to blame God when you don't know why you're going through something. Click To Tweet
However, during one of those mornings, I finally let God speak some sense into me (and dang am I glad whenever He does). What I figured out surprised me, but in the best way possible.
I realized I’d been too hung-up on the numbers, on impressing people, on making other people happy, on being perfect, on always being available and engaging, on wanting to live the life that other bloggers do daily…and I wasn’t focusing on what I’d set out to.
The goal when I made this blog was to interact with people like me, show them how beautiful God is, and inspire them in some way, just by talking about little life lessons I’ve learned. It was never to have a life of luxury and make a ton of money off of blogging.
However, when this online world becomes nothing but that, there’s no wonder why you lose your spark and creativity (in, like, 2.5 seconds flat).
I became so obsessed with the lives of people who really looked like they’d made it. I wanted to be them, and I found myself constantly wrapped up in their tiny online worlds. In all seriousness, those little worlds became a huge part of mine. I almost forgot there was a world beyond my phone, one that is so much more meaningful and real. And as soon as I started to value the internet more than what I lived offline, I started losing myself.As soon as I started to value the internet more than what I lived offline, I started losing myself. Click To Tweet
So, it was no wonder I couldn’t type up something worth reading anymore. Because for a second, I forgot who I was even living for. (PS: Here’s a great articles talking about signs you might need a break from social media!)
Why You Need to Take a Break Too
All those things God spoke to me after I took a break? I never would’ve heard them if I hadn’t removed myself from the entire situation.
Social media, and the internet in general, can become dangerous places when you begin to seek validation from them. And the scary part is that it happens so easily if you aren’t careful. It might seem harmless enough to scroll through Instagram before bed every night, but what are those pictures and videos telling your mind if you aren’t paying attention to it?Social media, and the internet in general, can become dangerous places when you begin to seek validation from them. Click To Tweet
We all need those stretches of time where we keep ourselves in check, and make sure we’re doing and thinking things that God would be proud of. Everything is good in moderation, and the internet is no different–even if it’s your full-time job.
Furthermore, let this be your reminder to stop comparing yourself to others you see online. I know you might watch vlogs, read posts, see pictures, etc. of someone who you think posts their whole life online, but remember: that’s a lie the devil tells you. (I love what Jeanine Amapola says about that in her latest post.)
There are always things people won’t broadcast to the world (and with good reason), but you need to be able to remember that in the culture we live in today.
Take yourself away from all of it for a while and never feel like you need to apologize for doing it.
Finally, I warn you never to think your fulfillment comes from the internet. You don’t need 2,000 likes to be loved by God, and you don’t need 200 kind comments to be a good person.Never think your fulfillment comes from the internet. You don't need 2,000 likes to be loved by God, and you don't need 200 kind comments to be a good person. Click To Tweet