This is our second day of fasting as we walk through 21 Days of Prayer. Our basic understanding of Biblical fasting is that we don’t eat food. The reality is that fasting is less about not eating food and more about bringing our physical and emotional desires under the control and lordship of God.
There’s no magic in not eating food. The power is in taking a set amount of time to express our desire to have every part of our lives, including our appetites, submitted to God. Today I want to encourage you to consider fasting something that many of have an out of control appetite for: social media and the internet.
Our complex digital world causes our senses to be constantly bombarded from all directions. When we spend all day running around, and then spend hours of our down time flipping through Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and TikTok, we are overloading our minds to the extreme. Our constant engagement in the digital world means our senses are constantly bombarded from all directions, leading to over-stimulation. It causes our minds to run out of the processing power it needs to make decisions, plan ahead, and get things done.
On an average day we:
- Touch our phones 2,617 times
- Spend 3.25 hours on our phones
- Spend 2.5 hours on social media
- Send 94 texts per day
If you allow for eight hours of sleep every night, this means that on average we spend 57 days a year on social media. That is 57 days spending sixteen hours a day on social media alone with no breaks. Imagine if we set aside all of January and February every year just to be on social media, and that’s the time we commit to it. This is one very real area of our lives where our appetite for technology runs the risk of outpacing our appetite for God.
One big problem is that social media is unfulfilling – it is empty calories. It increases anxiety, depression and loneliness in its users. It offers the promise of connection, but only delivers detachment and a mind that is clogged up with distraction and overstimulation.
Fasting social media allows God to calm our busy minds and fill our hungry souls.
Perhaps your are more scared to go without Facebook for three days than to go without food. That isn’t surprising. But it may be the exact step you need to take in order to be still and and meaningfully connect with God
Be still, and know that I am God!