How Did You Do On Day 1?

Our Challenge: For one week, spend more time with God than you spend watching news outlets or scrolling social media.

How’d you do on Day 1?

I enjoyed 45 minutes of quiet time yesterday morning in prayer and reading/studying scripture before my children woke up. According to my phone’s usage tracker, I spent 5 minutes on Facebook and 7 minutes on Facebook messenger. (On the iPhone, go to Settings>Screen Time>Turn On Screen Time. You can set schedules and restrictions as needed. I will mostly use the data it keeps each day about which apps you use the most, how many times you pick up the phone, etc).

Compared to last Friday when I spent 1 hour on Facebook and last Sunday when I spent 2 1/2 hours on Facebook (excuse me, WHAT?!), yesterday went pretty well for me. (See, I told you I had a major Facebook problem).

Obviously, yesterday was a huge change for me, but I want this to be a permanent change. I pray I can stay focused and determined to look to God rather than social media from now on.

Yesterday, I made a list of specific ways to decrease my time on Facebook…some changes I made in the past, and others I started yesterday when I started my pastor’s challenge. You could modify these to fit your needs.

One big thing I resolved to do a while back was to give God my attention first thing in the morning. For several years now, I have made it a point to get up earlier than everyone in my house and have a quiet time of prayer and Bible study.

As part of this, I try not to look at Facebook or email or Instagram or another else like that on my phone until after I have spent time with God. I have roughly an hour for time alone with God each morning because I purposefully get up before everyone else. (I usually do this on the week days and sleep in on the weekends, but I feel God’s conviction to put him first every day of the week and know I need to be obedient to that).

Maybe you could try putting God first each morning. Make a pact with yourself not to do anything on your phone, not to turn on a TV news show, or not to pick up a newspaper (whatever your biggest temptation and waster-of-time is) until after you’ve spent time in prayer with God and reading the Bible.

A long time ago, I turned off notifications for Facebook and email so I wouldn’t hear the ding or see the green check mark on the apps’ icons on my phone screen. (When I add new apps, I don’t allow them to send me notifications). The sounds and visual notifications draw too much attention. Once I turned them off, I was less likely to pick up the phone and think it was absolutely necessary to check Facebook or email.

Yesterday, I tried leaving my phone in my bedroom (ringer volume up so I could hear calls or texts). It seemed to help that it wasn’t in the same room with me. It within reach so I could pick it up and quickly scroll Facebook when I needed a distraction.

Also, I decided not to take the phone into the bathroom with me (enough said about that one, right?)

How do you put God first?

What helpful hints can you share about decreasing your time on social media or news outlets? What works for you?

I’d like to hear from you. How did you do yesterday?

{If you didn’t meet your goal for spending more time with God yesterday than you did on social media or news, don’t beat yourself up. Today is a new day. Set another goal. Make a plan with small, specific steps to take to help you achieve that goal on a daily basis. Tell your spouse or a friend what you’re trying to do and ask them to hold you accountable each day. Most importantly – pray.}