Free As A Bird

Near the end of December, 2018, I really felt this strong push in my gut, probably from The Lord, to do a social media fast or detox, as some might call it. In the past, when I’ve fasted social, it’s been for a weekend or a couple days, but this time I needed longer--A month. 30 days without the pressures of conforming to the mold I made for myself on specifically, Instagram.

I remember when Instagram first came out, I was in college, a Freshman I believe, and we all just posted the worst photos of our lunch, with bad lighting and a caption that just read “#Lunch.” Those were the days, let me tell ya. Now, almost 10 years and a marketing degree later, Instagram has basically become my career. Not only do I put a ton of time, effort, and curation into my personal account, but I also have a vintage clothing business that needs time, and about 7 business accounts that I run. That’s a lot of freaking social media.

So, like I said, I needed a fast for longer than a weekend. In the beginning, I was going to chronicle every day, which I started and only got to day 5. Truth be told, the first two weeks were the worst, then it was amazing. It was like that moment when you’re on a run, pushing your hardest, and then you finally stop to take a breath.

Below are the First Week Chronicles:

Day 1 | 1.1.19

The first day, the voices screaming in my head for digital connection are always the strongest. The fear of missing out on what pretends to be my life is so strong. Calling out for me to just check to see what “they’re” saying about me. The people sitting in their castles made out of the internet, where they can poke and prod and challenge from the safety of their walls. I do that too though. I judge others and then judge myself. Holding myself up to someone else’s mirror, looking at their reflection, trying to alter my own face so these people, behind their walls will love me. Even as I write this, I’m thinking about them; “Will they like what i have to say, will I be good enough for them?” I hate to see these words in front of me, calling out my fears but it’s true, this is what we all do. That’s why I need to do this. I need my inner critic to sit down and shut up. I need to stop holding up this mirror called social media and curating my life around it. These digital photo books that we’ve made our lives will eventually disappear, they’ll fade into the background.

This month, I’m challenging myself to create more for me, to live intentionally, to invest in relationships, to fall more in love with my Creator, and to live, to be fully alive.

Day 2 | 1.2.19

We’re in another country today learning about a small town—Compared to my life, cushy in the states, these people have barley anything we call normality but they are some of the most content people I’ve met. This kinda thing always shocks you into a new perspective. When I woke up, I wanted to tap open my apps and scroll through but as the day went on it got much easier to ignore the call from my screen. I have a feeling these next few days in Nicaragua will be similar—Easy to ignore the screen.

Day 3 | 1.3.19

The hard part about this, so far, is that Taylors not fasting social media, so when he sits around on Instagram during down time or whenever I’m just there like, “Dude, get off your phone” or standing around staring off into space. Which isn’t the worst, but it kind of makes me feel out of the loop or it gives me a strong urge to crawl back into my apps and just double tap away the silence.

Day 4 | 1.4.19

Honestly, I totally forgot to write an update.

Day 5 | 1.5.19

We’re headed back to the states today and we’ve got a 4 hour layover in Miami—I think that’s going to be hard. It’s so difficult in mindless time killing situations like that to not jump onto social media and scroll for hours. We shall see.

I got back on social the day I did because I had a post due, I probably could have kept the fast going for another month. The funny thing is, when I got back on social, I lost about 400 followers. Not a big deal, I know. The crazy part is, the people who were still there are the people that have always been there, since the beginning. The number loss was almost necessary to show the value of community.

free as a bird

The Truth…

There isn’t one thing you can acquire, achieve, or aspire to that will change your value. That’s just straight up the truth.

Social media has this crazy way of telling us that we aren’t good enough, that we don’t have the right friends, the right clothes, the right vacation destinations, the right job, the right belief system; blah, blah, blah. We have this really bad habit of believing all of the hype, of forgetting that we’re valuable simply because we are who we are. There isn’t one thing you can acquire, achieve, or aspire to that will change your value. That’s just straight up the truth. If I could convince everyone and their mom to do a month long social fast, I would.

I came back with this new found love for myself, that I lost. I came back knowing that everything God says about me is true. Song of Solomon 7 is a great example of just some of the things God says about us:

Song of Solomon 7 - Declarations

I am royalty

I walk gracefully

I have dignity

I am Gods poetry

I am God’s handiwork

I am full of God’s spirit

I will bring a harvest

I am a tower

I am a light on a hill

I am gracious

My eyes have pure revelation

My eyes are refreshing

I am surrounded by decrement

I am protected

I am crowned in redeeming love

My thoughts are full of wisdom and virtue

I am captivating

My beauty cannot be described

I bring delight

My love is great

I am victorious

I am secure

I am fruitful

My love is exhilarating

My love awakens

When we start searching for who we are in what looks like the cool thing, we tend to lose ourselves--The way we’ve been designed to be, simply us and simply amazing. This year, let’s stop looking in the mirror of society to tell us who we are; let’s change the narrative. Be your freaking self because, honey, you are one of a kind and we need you just the way you are. I mean, Bruno Mars may have said it best,

“When I see your face

There's not a thing that I would change 'cause you're amazing

Just the way you are

And when you smile

The whole world stops and stares for a while

'Cause you're amazing

Just the way you are”

Ok, before this becomes like 17 pages long, I’m going to run, but let this serve as a reminder, and on the days when you forget, come back to the truth. God calls you royalty--You’re a freaking queen. Plus, once you let go of all the other voices that make you question who you really are, you will feel as Free As a Bird. Go rock it.

Bridgette Brandon