What I Learned From Deleting Social Media (For a Bit!)

On a random Tuesday and without really any thought, I deleted all of the social media apps on my phone. I set it down with this sort of odd exhale. About five minutes later, I picked it back up only to realize all my usual “distractions” were no longer available.

Don’t worry; this isn’t a blog to bash social media. I’m actually a huge fan of the good, fun, and convenient ways apps provide for us — especially the ones that connect us with the people we love and the experiences we enjoy. This is the story of a quick journey that reminded me about the importance of living with an attentiveness to the present moment.

We don’t need to dig into all that had been happening in my life, but let’s just say that I discovered this weird sense of security from scrolling through my phone and ignoring my responsibilities. I was convinced that escaping from real life into social media felt safer than actually interacting with people. It was a bit of a backwards concept: I couldn’t get hurt or wounded or feel emotions if I was on my phone.

I found myself numbing out — numbing from the noise, from the busyness of my life, from the decision fatigue that kept creeping in. And I think, worst of all, I had fallen into a trap where comparison stemming from what I saw on someone else’s highlight reel would sit with me for days.

Constant thoughts like, “Why don’t I look that good in those types of outfits?” and, “Why don’t I have that much time to do all the things they get to do?” or, “I wish I could go on that type of trip” kept surfacing.

I would see other people doing really fun things and, while on the surface I was happy for them, inside I was wildly jealous.

So I quit. Cold turkey. I had no plan; I just needed the distractions to disappear for a minute so I could “reset.” In the days following, I would lay in my bed before falling asleep and scroll Venmo just to get a “fix.” I would grab my phone and immediately move my thumb to where my brain had memorized it wanted to go to scroll. I would even click that area on the home screen and realize it now led me to the weather app because everything shifts when you delete one!

I told one friend I was off social media, begging her to update me if there were any “big things” I missed. And by the end of ten days, my average screen time had decreased by more than three hours per day.

Since that ten-day break, I’ve committed to finding a week in each month to go off the grid from social media. I don’t announce it. I just delete the apps and “walk away” for a week. I tell one friend to let me know if something major gets posted, so she holds me accountable. Between all those experiences, here are my takeaways to share with you today.

  • I learned that I love my people! I love the people in my life who I am closest to, and the great things that happen to them. I wanted to know who was going somewhere fun, and I wanted to know about the big things happening in others’ lives. But I wanted to do it without feeling the need to compare, which meant that I needed to learn how to be more present and attentive to all the amazing gifts God was giving me already in my daily life.
  • Laughter is the best! I missed all of the funny things people shared. A really great reel is worth the share if it brings authentic joy. I love laughing yet I believe I was lacking in that in my real life. So I focused on conversations with people through facetime and at meals. I asked more questions and found more enjoyment in the conversations. We were created to be people who experience joy!
  • Our faith is meant to be shared! I desperately missed all of the social media highlights from youth conferences and summer ministry events. I missed people who were sharing their faith. There is an abundant amount of people giving witness to their faith journey, how they prayed, and where they found Jesus on that day. Those are always nudges from God to me to keep my prayer life consistent. With less screen time, I rather easily found more time for personal prayer and worship.
  • Dependence should be on God and less on the world. I learned I don’t need social media as much as I acted like I did. I also don’t need to post my entire life, and certainly not with a filter. I found that spending my time enjoying my life — instead of having to show it off — reminded me of how my worth is not found in likes and comments; it’s found in Him.


When I started sharing again on social media, it was a lot less. I would ask myself why I wanted to post something. And if the answer was that it would make me feel good about how people would react, I’d wait 24 hours before I made the decision. The world moves so fast that sometimes by the next day, that post seems irrelevant to share. I often remove the option to comment and mute certain people to protect my heart. I still take intentional breaks to reset every month. And when I feel a pain of sadness or comparison, I close my phone and read Scripture.

As we continue to grow in our relationship with God, I pray you find small ways to consider how you can be more present to the life He has blessed you with and the worth that is found in Him.