I Deleted Instagram So I Could Discern
Recently I sat down with my spiritual director and said, "I think I'm discerning something and I don't like it." I'm sure its odd coming from a vocation coordinator, someone who helps women discern. But I'm also sure many of you can relate. I don't like making decisions. I don't like the pressure I feel, especially if my decisions effect other people.
Anyways, I shared with my spiritual director that as I realized I was in discernment, I also decided it was time to get off of Instagram. First, it was a decision to actually admit I was discerning. To some extent, I think I was waiting around for God to just make a decision for me. But to admit I was discerning also made me take ownership of how I was making time to listen to God in this specific area of my life. For me, admitting I was in discernment meant I had to make some changes, like stepping away from Instagram for a while.
Despite all of the benefits of social media, I think we can all agree there are pitfalls too. We catch glimpses into the lives of others and think they have it all together. Even when they post their pit-falls, its usually accompanied by a profound lesson that they learned. I'm aware of the messages that social media can send to me, but that doesn't make me immune to them. Sometimes, I find myself wanting what other people have and without realizing it, I start to wonder if God is calling me to that kind of life.
And the great thing about God is that if He is calling me to that kind of life, God can do it without Instagram. Taking a break from Instagram not only frees my time, but gives me space to discern whether it's God's voice I'm hearing or if societal pressure from social media.
It's only been a week since I've stepped away, but I already feel a bit lighter. I'm still listening for God; it's not like God suddenly spoke the minute I signed off. But I feel more patient. There's less of a sense of urgency. I'm able to pay attention to the ebbs and flows in my own life instead of looking at the lives of others. I can notice my own energy, my own joy and sorrow without confusing it with someone else's.
I'm not suggesting you need to delete your Instagram account if you are discerning, but perhaps you do need to make a change in some area of your life. Perhaps it's another form of social media that can get in the way, or even a particular person or topic of conversation. God and God's call are bigger than social media or other people or anything else in this world. If God is calling you, God will be persistent and will use many avenues to beckon you! Take a break from that account, go a week without seeing that person (if possible), avoid a topic of conversation, etc. Notice how God moves and works within you.