A little over a year ago, I decided to do a year-long detox from all social media. I even went to the great length of writing a whole blog post about it. The truth is, I was in way over my head. I didn't prepare for my commitment beforehand and a little while later, it all came to a screeching halt.
I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15
Over the course of the year, I experienced a lot of ups and downs. There were times where I was off social media almost completely and times where I felt like a failure because of how much time I spent scrolling. In the end, I fell back into the habits that I had so wished to avoid, which made me greatly ashamed of myself.
One thing I've learned is that my career revolves around social media a lot more than I had first realized. Social media is a relatively new thing, as is independent filmmaking. In this day and age, they almost go hand-in-hand. Sharing projects on Instagram, looking up editing tutorials on YouTube, or connecting with actors on Facebook all play a huge role in making indie filmmaking work. Sometimes quitting something outright is a great idea, but now I understand that, because of my career, it just isn't possible for me to remove social media from my life completely.
The real problem I encountered during my attempted detox was that many times I needed to go on social media for work-related reasons but due to the addictive nature of social media, what I intended to be a couple minutes on the platform stretched into hours.
Despite the fact that my filmmaking requires me to use social media on occasion, I am not going to succumb to addiction. Instead, I am going to work hard at setting systems in place that help me reduce my time on it and to use it in meaningful instead of mindless ways.
I take full accountability for my actions and shortcomings and confess that part of my problem was that I wasn't fully committed to giving it up in the first place. I wanted the outcome but wasn't willing to sacrifice the entertainment and pleasure that I still thought it would bring. But here's the thing: that pleasure is fleeting! It never lasts and every time I fall in to watching videos for hours or "doom-scrolling" as some call it, I end up feeling awful, sometimes to the point of feeling physically sick from staring at a screen for too long.
What I realize now is that not only did my plan need to change, but my heart needed to change as well. If you don't want EVERY part of something, you're not going to fight for it. This is what I understand now that I didn't then- the sacrifice of discipline is worth it!
I take great comfort in the fact that God is faithful even when I'm not. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins, to conquer death by rising from the grave, and to give us eternal life in Him! He has given us a gift that is worth sharing, is worth suffering for, and is worth giving up the things of this world for. While I know that I will struggle as long as I am on this earth, I rejoice in the redemption that the Lord has brought!