Scrolling and the Art of Restraint

our last date night (in July!)

Do you think I kept my new years resolution of going a year without reading social media? 

The answer is no.  I went about two and a half months.  Then in October, I went another month.  That’s it.

Frankly, I kind of HAD to get back on when I did, we were moving.  I mean, I could have made countless expensive phone calls overseas to secure housing, school placement, and other necessities.  Or I could just tap-tap-tap through the Facebook group and be connected with all of it in one second. 

I’ve done tons of soul-searching in the area of social media use.  After much prayer and retrospect, I‘ve just never landed on a rationale to permanently isolate myself from the world in that way.  Social media are not going away.  Moreover, I probably should remain literate in this arena so I can coach my children on the right habits for their own online presence. 

So, that’s the jist of it. 

But let me backpedal and paint the broader picture.  I logged hours in prayer and pondering, asking God just how much social media I should be consuming, if any.  After some time…and it took me a while to notice…the answer to my prayer came.  But not the way I was expecting. 

I guess I expected to hear some ground-breaking proclamation containing a quantifiable, precise amount of time I can spend per day looking at these media.  “You may spend 30 minutes a day, from 1:30 until 2:00pm, looking at Facebook and Instagram” …said in James Earl Jones’s voice.

But that wasn’t his plan on this one.  Not surprisingly either.  That’s funny–God knows that’s not how I really operate.  So he does know me better than I know myself!  


His answer came quietly and it took a while to notice.  But over the course of this year I developed a growing, burdensome, lingering aversion to scrolling in the presence of people.  Not timelines, not restrictions, no voices.  Freedom to enjoy with soft boundaries…guiding me in the direction of people first


And it’s really stuck.  Kids around?  Phone down.  Big group setting, no scrolling.  Five hour car ride?  Play the license plate game.  (A supreme challenge to play in England, ha ha.)  You get the idea.  There’s more empty space in the absence of scrolling; however, a lot of my scrolling was symptomatic of the “tyranny of the mundane.”  I scroll to avoid feelings of a mundane existence. 

But really, the human experience is living with just so. much. blah.

Now, my prayer is that this burden will continue to weigh on me, and thereby enable me to live out what I believe in this area. 

What an answer!  An empowerment from outside of myself, yet aligned with my personality type.*  I am really happy with it.  But don’t hang up on me, please know my heart.  Not to be preachy… it’s just one solution for one woman of faith.  I’ll point to Romans 14 which addresses this type of matter.  

Okay.  Because my husband will probably read this, I have to admit I am not perfectly scroll-free when *all* people are nearby.  (We have five kids so we’re fine.)

Where are you at with all of this?  Do you have any other suggestions for keeping a good balance between scrolling and restraint?  

thanks for reading.  



*This, by the way, is how I know we have a personal God.  A God so knowing that he tailor-makes his solutions to fit each specific personality… More evidence that he is not one-size-fits-all when it comes to following hard after him.

4 comments on “Scrolling and the Art of Restraint”

  1. Such a simple and yet profound way to deal with social media! People first!! Thanks for sharing! Your insight provides me a healthy challenge and much needed encouragement!


  2. You have totally tuned in to hearing God’s voice!!! It’s ALWAYS so soft and so quiet….so much so that we would miss it-unless we were ACTIVELY listening. Love this


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.