The year 2020 was a chaotic year for the world, but was an incredibly peaceful year for our family—and it was this for a lot of reasons, but probably the most impactful reason was that we were not on social media.
Really, I was not on social media (I mean, my husband wasn’t either but he never really had a habitual problem with social).
We agreed to get off of social media to help support our year-long Contentment Challenge during which we did not participate in any extra spending for the year 2020 (it was an incredible challenge… and really helped us sort out our needs vs. our wants! You can listen to my interview with Nancy Ray, the founder of the Contentment Challenge here.)
It was probably the most focused… the most rewarding… the most productive… and the most restful year of my adult life.
And, again, this for many reasons… but a big reason was the absence of social media in my life.
The benefits of being off of social media were astounding for me. They included, but were not limited to, the following:
- More focused time with my family.
- A clear mind and ability to be all-in where I was at in the moment.
- More time reading scripture.
- More time resting when I was tired (rather than scrolling).
- Less impetuous spending (for instance, we successfully completed one year of the Contentment Challenge, paid off an enormous amount of credit card debt, and built a solid foundation for our savings goal).
- The ability to walk into church (mask or no mask) and love others well without the distraction of their political views flying in front of our faces.
- The deeper conviction to take control of what comes into our minds and intentionally focus and filter out the light from the darkness (Jesus has a lot to say about how we should be doing this…).
- I read so many books despite having been a full-time working mama of two during a stay-at-home pandemic.
- Emotional stability and growing contentment with my self and my home.
- The ability to hear from live people sitting at our dinner table, passing by on the sidewalk, or greeting in the grocery aisle and having them tell us about their recent life updates (pregnancies, marriages, divorces, sickness, etc..) and us having the authentic real reaction that comes with having heard the news for the first time.
- Having the energy and emotional ability to share the gospel with our neighbors.
- Picking up the phone to have real live phone conversations with those I thought of throughout the day.
- Redefining my view of success being found in the shadows rather than on a public platform.
- NOT having my brain subconsciously asking for the next “line” for my “public stage presence” on social media.
- Discovering and investing in deep friendships without the distraction of surface-level noise from random crowds of others on my feed.
- More time in prayer with a truly quiet mind and open heart to God’s opinion and direction.
(To hear more about how being off of social media completely changed my view of success as a woman and a mom, check out my interview on the Miss Teacher-Mom podcast on Christ-Centered Success.)
Then 2020 ended and the Lord began to nudge me towards writing… which I am doing and loving. Over the course of a few hard conversations, my writing coaches convinced me of the many benefits of joining social media to help build a bridge to my ideal reader, so I (prayerfully, hesitantly, and never completely peacefully…) agreed to do so.
Since rejoining social media here are some changes in myself that I have noticed over the past few months:
- Cloudiness in my mind.
- Distractions that cause me to be less present with my family.
- Less rested than before.
- The feeling of an invisible pressure to produce and perform.
- Emotional ties to likes and follows that I know in my logical mind are of no value, but my illogical and emotional mind have fallen prey to…
- More holding of my phone throughout the day and in front of others.
- Less time spent on writing and more time spent on trying to figure out how to market on and simply use social media.
- Anxiety in my heart and mind.
- Inability to slow down.
- A visibly disgruntled (although patient and supportive) family hungry for more of my attention.
- People no longer asking me for life updates as readily in person… me no longer asking for life updates as readily in person.
- A continued disenchantment with social media, realizing authenticity is hard to find there.
- A busier mind and heart. It’s harder to quiet my spirit before the Lord.
- More impulsive spending.
- A temptation to covet.
- A deep desire to leave social media and pursue writing in a completely different way.
For me, the benefits of not being on social media simply outweigh the benefits of being on social media.
When I was off social media, I told many people that I could not imagine coming back to the platforms. Having been back on the platforms over the past few months, I must agree with my 2020 self… for me and my heart, it’s better to be off the platforms—writing goals or not—so, I’m saying “sayonara” once again.
What does this mean for my writing and my projects forthcoming?
Well, I will continue to write… and I imagine the quality of my writing will greatly benefit from my break with the myriad of distractions on social media.
If you are one of my precious (and few) readers… I so value your time spent on my works. Here is how you can keep up with me…
I will be posting articles full of testimony, lessons learned, interviews and sisterly advice on my website at www.reagan-reynolds.com and you can always visit me there at your leisure. Each article will continue to include an audio recording for those of you who prefer to listen in.
Or, if you prefer, you can let me come to you…
I will be sending a quarterly newsletter that will include the following:
- A brief personal update on my experiences pursuing the writerly life.
- A curated list of my recently published articles.
- Announcements to new original Bible reading resources (I will soon be providing a reading guide for Genesis Chapters 1-11 created for new readers or returning readers of the Bible) – these resources will always be free.
- Links to new Parent/Child Reading Guides for Young Adult classic fiction (These resources will assist parents in leveraging fiction to jumpstart deep discussions about our complicated world with their children.)
- Announcements for original short Christian fiction audiobooks for kids, published to Audible.
If any of those forthcoming assets would be of interest to you, please sign up for email list below. I really look forward to a clearer mind and deeper in-person interactions to help inform what I bring to my readers in the future.
I can not say enough how much I appreciate you and how I would truly love to hear from you. If you feel so inclined, please drop me a note on the Contact page.
With joy (& a social sayonara),